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Old 06-02-2012, 09:06 PM
 
2 posts, read 2,163 times
Reputation: 11

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We have leased a home for almost 2 years. We are purchasing a home and will be moving 1 month prior to the end of the lease. We plan to leave the home in rental ready condition. We have been excellent tenants and never been late with the rental payment. The owners have sent letters regarding the same and how wonderfully we take care of the property.

Due to financial hardships the owner's have had for the time we rented the property, we know we won't get our security deposit back. We don't believe we should pay the last month's rent. The rental fee is equal to the security deposit. The owners owe years of back taxes and are delinquent on the mortgage payments, even though they receive our rental payment the 1st day of each month. Recently they made a payment on the taxes, but the check bounced and we had a visit from a process server. (the neighbor's got a kick out of that) If they can't pay the taxes, mortgage, etc on the home, there is no way they will refund my deposit.

Is it legal not to pay the last month's rent?
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Old 06-03-2012, 10:25 AM
 
Location: Grapevine, Texas
10,542 posts, read 22,428,002 times
Reputation: 8363
My advice is really simple: talk to your landlord. You know their situation. Explain this to them, and offer a walk-through to show them the condition in which you are leaving the property. Maybe they will agree? You won't even be occupying the house that last month, so it's not like they can evict you. As for reporting to a credit bureau, an individual landlord can't do it, so there's no risk to your credit. Also, since you are buying a home, a bad reference on your rental history no longer matters. They could attempt to sue you in small claims court, but then your counterpoint would be that they didn't have the funds to return your security deposit, and the case would likely take at least a year to be heard.
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Old 06-03-2012, 03:55 PM
 
Location: Fort Worth, north TX
427 posts, read 898,655 times
Reputation: 284
Quote:
Originally Posted by srick View Post
Due to financial hardships the owner's have had for the time we rented the property, we know we won't get our security deposit back.
I don't know what the laws are in Texas, but in Illinois, the security deposit is to be kept in a separate account for the landlord's other banking.

Just because the owners have had financial hardships, it doesn't excuse them from refunding your security deposit.

Having said that, it doesn't give you a free pass to skip paying the last month's rent. Talk to the landlord, and negotiate your way out of the lease a month early.
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Old 06-05-2012, 12:35 PM
 
16,935 posts, read 2,174,066 times
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The owners' personal financial situation is irrelevant. You have or should have a rental agreement. What is stated in it as far as repayment of deposit and early out is concerned?
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Old 06-07-2012, 03:09 PM
 
2 posts, read 2,163 times
Reputation: 11
Default Last month

I appreciate everyone's feedback. I did contact the owner's agent, as the owner lives in another country. He advised the owner wanted the last month's rent no matter if I moved a month prior or not. Even though I will be out in a few days and the last month isn't due until the 5th of the next month. Basically when I pay the last month's rent, my security deposit will be due back to me 5 days after I pay the last months rent. It will be 30 days after vacating that the deposit is due back per the lease. However, there is a new renting who will move in sometime in July. So they get double rent for the month.

I also spoke to two former tenants who still live in the neighborhood. The former tenants advised that no matter what, the home could be spotless and perfect but the owner will never refund the deposit. The last tenant sued and won, but as the owner lives in another country, he never got his money. All he could do was put a lien on the house.


What really has me giving this hard thought is in speaking with the former tenant and neighbors, the owner NEVER returns security deposits. So I would be out over $4K (rent and security) I have been an excellent tenant, paid for repairs to the house myself, landscaped the yard and kept the home in excellent shape. Even the owner and agent agree that the home looks better now then when we moved in. But they will screw me over if I pay the last month's rent!
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Old 06-07-2012, 05:10 PM
 
Location: WA
4,082 posts, read 5,181,223 times
Reputation: 5416
What I would do is send them an invoice showing the last month rent minus the security deposit and that you are paying the balance due...which is what? Zero?

If they object, then ask for documentation of the damage that they are claiming under the security deposit and say that you are perfectly willing to pay it if they have repair bills for legitimate damage.

That might not be to the letter of the law but will it be worth it for them to fight you? I doubt it, especially if the place is already rented to a new tenant and you haven't really cheated them out of anything except their ability to cheat you.
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Old 06-07-2012, 07:49 PM
 
Location: Grapevine, Texas
10,542 posts, read 22,428,002 times
Reputation: 8363
Quote:
Originally Posted by texasdiver View Post
What I would do is send them an invoice showing the last month rent minus the security deposit and that you are paying the balance due...which is what? Zero?
That's a great idea.
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