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billy76

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Posts: 2
Reply with quote  #1 
Replying to another post from another thread led me to start my own to expand on the details and get more input.

This all started about four years ago and the issue still hasn't been resolved:

Myself and two other people moved into a house. We signed the standard lease and put down our security deposit (equal to the monthly lease and proportional to our agreed upon, individual rental rates). After a year passed, one roommate moved out with another taking his place. Unbeknownst to me at the time, vacating roommate and incoming new roommate made some sort of agreement in regards to the deposit. Later I found out NO deposit was paid by new tenant. At the time I figured it was none of my business and had nothing to do with me. But now, I think what happened set a precedent for what was to follow.

After two more years, I decided to move out. The remaining two roommates decided to continue living at the house by themselves. After I had cleaned the room and moved out my things to my new apartment, I informed the remaining roommates that I would be coming over to collect my security deposit. The roommate who moved into the room I vacated (the same one who made no deposit when they replaced the prior tenant) responded that they felt they should NOT put down a deposit on the room they were about to occupy. The reasoning were questions like: "What if damages outweigh the deposit?" and "Who knows when I will move out?" and "What if I get new roommates?" and "Who assesses damage and individual responsibility?" Even though I explained how these issues could have been easily resolved, they did not seem to understand it was (in my mind) standard procedure to return the deposit back to a vacating tenant after they clean the room and everything looks fine.

So, my next step was to contact the property manager and see if they had any say in this. They wanted us to work it out amongst ourselves. I wasn't sure if the homeowner or the landlord were the ones legally responsible to return our deposit, but since I couldn't find anything in the lease pertaining to our specific issue, I was stuck. Myself and the first tenant that moved out surmised that since at least one of the original roommates that signed the original lease was still living at the house, no deposits would be returned until they finally moved out. This didn't make much sense to me but I decided to give up at that point. Eventually, I managed to get the remaining roommates to return about half of my deposit. The poor guy who left first has yet to see his deposit ($400) but I am still fighting with him.

So, that brings us to today. About a month ago, the last remaining original tenant moved out. At this point we contacted the property manager to see if that meant our deposit would be returned. Apparently not, he still suggested we work it out amongst ourselves. I tried reading some of the statutes in the property code for Texas but again couldn't find anything specific to my case.

After contacting the non-deposit paying and last remaining tenant of the house again to discuss the issue, they still contend they should not have to pay us anything, for the above reasons. What's interesting is that they stated: "I'm not assuming to get much money, if any, from (the property manager)" when I, on the other hand expect to get most, if not all back (minus possibly the cost of steam cleaning the carpet).

So now, we are going to meet up with non-deposit paying tenant to come to an agreement. We feel like he might be moving out soon so we should have a written agreement before he does.

It's pretty funny, all this over a matter of maybe $150 but to me it's the principle of the whole thing. I'm still willing to take this issue to small claims court if necessary.

Anyways, just wondering what you people think.
RRH

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Posts: 5
Reply with quote  #2 
Once the landlord get possession back they should then issue the deposit refund to the names on the lease.
If there are damages you will have to prove who caused the damages and sue them which maybe hard to prove. Cant expect a Judge to guess. Also did the new room mates sign any agreement?

Also keep in mind if there are more damages than the deposits covers. The landlord will sue the names on the lease.
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