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Old 12-02-2013, 05:23 PM
2 posts, read 2,512 times
Reputation: 10


I will try to make this short:

I moved into an apartment with 2 others over a year ago. The rent I was to pay was $1,000/month. Months after I move in, my roommate (one with name on main lease) tells me that utilities are not included and I have to start paying more. He says this one night while very drunk. I was never informed about paying extra for utilities prior to move in - thought it was all included. I tell him, ok, come talk to me about it when you're sober. Fast forward another 6 months (now I've been in the apartment for 10 months, and he never came to talk to me about it), he tells me again 6 months later I have to start paying utilities. Keep in mind, the other roommate also hasn't been asked to pay either... also unaware they were not included. So when he talked to me about it, I told him to figure out how much I need to pay. He said ok, I will and will get back to you. That was 4 months ago, and I have not heard back with an estimate.

NOW I am moving out. I am predicting he may come at me with a large amount that he feels I owe for the past year or so. I actually did pay over $250 over the year when he forgot to pay and electricity/Internet went out. The other roommate has also never paid monthly utilities.

SO MY QUESTION IS: He has a security deposit of mine, and I am afraid he will try to keep a lot of it for what he feels he is owed. Can he do that? Must the security deposit be returned if I have not caused any damages, and then the utilities dispute be handled separately?

Thanks for your help!

**I don't know if this matters, but he has never cleaned the house at all, ever, since I moved in. I pay for a maid, or clean myself after him - and he is very, very messy. I have also had many repairs taken care of in the house which I either paid for or the landlord has taken care of. When sinks and bathtubs clog, he doesn't care. I have a very long list with huge ways I've contributed to the initially disgusting apartment I moved into.
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Old 12-02-2013, 05:31 PM
Location: Raleigh, NC
6,361 posts, read 7,797,819 times
Reputation: 4779
I am a landlord in the state of California. I am not a lawyer. If I were you, I would not say anything at all. Then if he doesn't give you back the deposit I would take him to small claims court. That's a whole other issue and I'm sure folks here could tell you how to do it.
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Old 12-02-2013, 05:42 PM
Location: San Diego, CA
813 posts, read 1,148,810 times
Reputation: 912
This sounds like a great case for Judge Judy.
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Old 12-03-2013, 04:02 PM
13,713 posts, read 8,213,904 times
Reputation: 9811
Ok, you haven't told us the whole story.

First thing first, what city are you in? Second, why isn't your name on the lease? Why does your roommate has your deposit and not your landlord? It really really sounds like you are subletting from your roommate, which makes you a subtenant and your roommate your master tenant. Third, what does the lease say about utilities (you do have a lease with your master tenant right?)? Fourth, does the actual landlord knows you were living there and approved of you living there as a subtenant? Fifth, what does the original lease between the master tenant and the landlord say about utilities?

The short answer is that utilities can be deducted from the deposit if it is something that the tenant needs to pay. So, at the very least, we need to know what the lease say, and you haven't told us that.

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Old 12-03-2013, 05:46 PM
4,848 posts, read 7,352,263 times
Reputation: 5692
Consider it gone. If you have no documentation then it never happened. You can ask him for it back but take it as a lesson learned. In life many of us learn things the hard way.
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Old 12-05-2013, 09:19 PM
27,823 posts, read 58,890,102 times
Reputation: 22531
This is what the courts are for...

If the issue remains unresolved you can choose to move on or small claims.

Just so you know... I have several judgements against tenants that I have never been able to collect.

Live and learn.

On the other hand... if the conditions are sketchy or the landlord is a flake with poor housekeeping habits why stay and take it?
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