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Old 01-21-2011, 07:35 AM
 
9 posts, read 26,630 times
Reputation: 10

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My fiance and I moved into our last apartment in May 09, we signed a one year lease, which was fulfilled, and we were then paying month to month until Oct 1, 2010 when we moved out. Our landlord was given a 30 days notice on the first of September stating that we would be leaving the following month, and if there's anything specific they'd like us to do as far as cleaning and whatnot to let us know. We also asked for our deposit to be returned with in 30 days of move out. Its now almost February, and we still haven't seen the deposit or anything stating why we weren't getting it back. We left the apartment in very good condition, the only thing we didnt do was remove a small border that we had put up in our daughters nursery. We didnt want to risk ripping any paint or anything so we left it up, understanding that that would be taken out.

Ive gone back and forth numerous times over the past few months about the deposit and she kept giving us the run around and she kept saying she was taking care of it and whatever else. On January 3 she told me they had received the invoice from the people who took down the border and that they were trying to charge $650 for that (which i find very hard to believe)and they were currently trying to negotiate a lower rate, and it would be finished up that friday. That was two weeks ago and now she isn't returning my messages about it. Im going to be sending out a certified letter to her today asking for the deposit and proof of how much it cost to fix that room. My question though, is how long am i suppose to give her before legal action is taken? Im not very familiar with the laws here in NC, but i know its not right what she's doing. Any help on this matter as far as what we need to do, id greatly appreciate it.
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Old 01-21-2011, 08:29 AM
 
2,638 posts, read 6,048,842 times
Reputation: 3398
Unless the law has changed recently, a landlord must return a security deposit within 30 days of lease termination, or otherwise provide an accounting of what was kept and why. Yes, $650 is a ridiculous charge for removing a wallpaper border--it sounds like they are charging you for painting the entire room, something they would normally do anyway. The only thing you should pay for is the actual labor to remove the wallpaper and get the walls back to paintable condition.

Here's what I suggest: Send a registered letter letting them know that they owe you either the deposit or a detailed accounting of the claimed damages. From there your next step depends--if you think they are keeping your deposit without justification, or they do not provide adequate explanation, you may have to take it to small claims court. Good luck!
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Old 01-21-2011, 09:31 PM
 
Location: Fayetteville, NC
1,490 posts, read 5,206,392 times
Reputation: 1600
arbyunc is right on the money. You'll have to take them to court to get any action.
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Old 01-22-2011, 10:05 PM
 
Location: Carolina Mountains
2,013 posts, read 3,604,767 times
Reputation: 2090
I second what arbyunc said except I would write a certified letter demanding the money seeing as they never sent you a reason why you weren't getting it back within 30 days.

If they still don't do it, you can go talk to the tenat landlord court/assistance/some other name, in your county. I think most larger areas have them.

Good luck. I had a horror story with my apartment being leased out before my lease was even over and it took threatening lawyer after 3 months of fighting for the apartment to give me my money back. North Carolina is a very landlord friendly state, no love for the tenets.
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Old 01-23-2011, 12:34 PM
 
Location: North Carolina
20 posts, read 130,007 times
Reputation: 43
SMA88 - I am a North Carolina Attorney. The others on this post are correct. Your landlord must return your money within 30 days of the end of the lease, or give you a written accounting of your security deposit. You should consider hiring an attorney to litigate this for you, as you may be able to receive triple your security deposit plus your attorneys' fees. Most attorneys will give you a free consultation, and you may be able to find an attorney to take this case on a contingency basis because attorneys' fees may be awarded by the court.

Good luck with your case.
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