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Posts: 1
Reply with quote  #1 
Hello, My name is Robert Midkiff. I am not a landlord, but a tennant. I recently rented from a building in Huntington, WV and I moved out and I cannot get my security deposit back. I moved out at the end of March. My lease stated that I must give 30 days notice and I did so. I contacted the property manager and he met me outside the apartment and did a move out walk through. Before i moved I made sure everything was out of the apartment (Trash, clothes, everything). I vaccumed and mopped it was spotless. He said he wished more people moved out like me and said he would contact me in a few days and give me the security deposit. So I gave him the keys and went on my way thinking for the best. It is now May 15th and I cannot get him to answer his phone, email, anything. He is completely avoiding me and the situation. My only regret is that i did not take pictures of the apartment before i left because i thought there was no problem. WV Law says that 30 days is a resonable amount of time for me to recieve my deposit and it is unlawful to hold my deposit without reason. Im getting really aggravated and annoyed because im moving to florida to go to college and I was really counting on that money to help pay deposits there. is there any advice or help you can offer me? I have contacted a few places seeking legal aid. I would like this to get settled as soon as possible.

Posts: 3,814
Reply with quote  #2 
Robert, most state laws require that a SD be accounted for within 30 days.  WV law has no such statute giving a specific time period.  However, 45 days is more than reasonable to wait for this accounting.  Even if a LL kept all of the deposit for damage a tenant did, the LL must send an itemized statement to the tenant to explain what was kept and why.  Your LL has not done this.

You should immediately send a written request for your security deposit to your former LL.  Make sure you include your forwarding address and send it certified mail so you can be sure he got it.  If you do not hear from him very soon, you may have to file in small claims court to get this deposit back.  It is a shame you didn't take pictures, or at least have a witness who could testify to the condition you left the apt.  Was there a condition statement on your original lease or rental agreement?  (A page that stated the condition of each item in the unit)  If not, it will be up to the LL to prove in court that you were the one who caused any damage found in the unit.  (It could have been left in that condition from a former tenant.)

Some states also allow extra damages to be awarded to you for wrongful withholding of your security deposit.  It is up to you to ask for them in any small claims court case and up to the judge to actually allow them or not.  Some states allow up to 2 or 3 times the deposit to be awarded to the tenant when the LL willfully and wrongfully withholds money he shouldn't.  If you haven't received that deposit back by now, send that letter out tomorrow.  If no response, you may want to check with legal aide to see if you could get a free attorney to help you.  Good luck.
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