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Old 12-12-2013, 12:02 PM
 
3 posts, read 21,312 times
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I moved out of my apartment at the end of October, and gave my landlord the 30-day notice he required. I have not spoken to him since, or received any communication from him at all. I screwed up, though. I forgot to give him his keys back right away. I mailed them to him a week ago.

So…it’s been over 30 days since I moved out. I have not heard from my landlord at all, and definitely have not received a security deposit or an itemized list of repairs or expenses. There is no reason (other than the keys) to deduct from my security deposit.

What should I do? I wasn’t sure how my withholding of the keys would affect my situation. Does it mean that I technically did not relinquish the property until last week? Am I still entitled to my security deposit?

Thanks, and yes, I know I’m an idiot for not returning the keys right away. I’ve been beating myself up for it.

Edit: Also, I live in Pennsylvania, if that matters.
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Old 12-12-2013, 12:07 PM
 
Location: Riverside Ca
22,164 posts, read 27,188,875 times
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Did you do a final walk through? Or just left?
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Old 12-12-2013, 12:19 PM
 
3 posts, read 21,312 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Electrician4you View Post
Did you do a final walk through? Or just left?
No, I didn't do a final walk-through. I first wrote a letter stating my intent to move out, and then when I received no response, I gave him a call. During that phone call, he did not give me any move-out instructions or schedule a walk-through. Mostly, he just berated me for moving out. Then I sent him ANOTHER letter that gave him the exact day of my move-out. I have not talked to my landlord since our phone call.
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Old 12-12-2013, 12:26 PM
 
Location: Long Island, NY
1,889 posts, read 2,284,154 times
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Did you leave him your new address?
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Old 12-12-2013, 12:30 PM
 
Location: St Thomas, US Virgin Islands
24,671 posts, read 64,706,642 times
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Even if your LL was not planning on returning your security deposit he was still legally bound to let you know by the 30 days exactly why he was keeping it so he's already legally defaulted and I think you would have a pretty clear cut win in small claims court. Yes of course you should have handed over the keys and presumably you gave him a forwarding address so he was able to contact you? In some cases he could legally make a claim that you were liable for rent until you returned the keys - but that doesn't absolve him from following the rules where your security deposit is concerned.

Check on the exact wording in your state landlord tenant laws (linked in first "sticky" on this page) and then I'd suggest you write him a letter by return receipt certified mail asking for the return of your security deposit immediately in accordance with Section xxxxx of (state) landlord tenant laws.
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Old 12-12-2013, 12:32 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
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Had your lease expired or were you renting month to month. If either of those are true then you can give the notice and move out.

Did you give your landlord a written 30 days notice. If not you may have trouble proving you did so, especially since you did not return the keys. Since you only recently returned the keys, I'd wait 30 days before taking any further action and see if the landlord provides you with a list of deductions he is taking out of the deposit and return the rest to you. If he does not provide you with that list and remaining deposit he probably looses all rights to deduct anything from the deposit and must return it all to you. Research what your state law says in the first sticky thread at the top of this forum.

Did you provide him with your new address?
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Old 12-12-2013, 12:32 PM
 
Location: Boise, ID
8,047 posts, read 26,428,218 times
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Technically, if you never contacted him and told him you were out and never returned keys, you still had possession of the property until you turned them in.

Whether or not that would legally stand up in court is another issue. It depends on how the landlord proceeded. If he has moved another tenant in in the meantime, the worst he could likely do is charge rent up until the new tenant moved in and charge for changing the locks. (Personally, this is what I think would be fair). If the property is still sitting vacant, then he could argue he didn't know you had vacated as you didn't inform him, but the judge would argue with why he didn't call looking for November or December's rent in that case.

I don't understand landlords who don't follow up on this type of situation. I'd be calling/emailing/texting you at least every other day finding out what was going on.

I'd start with a simple call to him to discuss your status. Approach it from the direction that you have your keys turned in, which should be the only thing holding up processing your deposit refund. When should you expect to see that? If he doesn't respond, then send a demand letter for your deposit. Even if you aren't entitled to any money back, he still has to send you a statement (regardless of your state, I believe, although the time frames vary by state).

Note: This advice is from a "common sense" viewpoint. I'm not familiar with Pennsylvania renting law and custom to know if there is anything specific for your state that would be counter to this.
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Old 12-12-2013, 12:59 PM
 
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Thank you for the advice, everyone. I did give him a forwarding address, in both the letters I sent to him. As far as I know, the apartment is still vacant, as he still has it advertised in the newspaper.
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Old 12-12-2013, 03:50 PM
 
Location: SoCal
542 posts, read 1,408,885 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ehagi View Post
Thank you for the advice, everyone. I did give him a forwarding address, in both the letters I sent to him. As far as I know, the apartment is still vacant, as he still has it advertised in the newspaper.
Do you know when he started advertising it? That would give a clue as to when he effectively took back possession (even though he hadn't received the keys from you yet).
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Old 12-12-2013, 05:52 PM
 
26,950 posts, read 43,062,713 times
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If you gave notice and with held the keys the LL still has the job to contact you to ask for the keys and in our lease agreements there is a fee for not returning the keys which we will deduct from the security deposit.

This has nothing to do with final walk through or not...if you gave notice in a timely manner that is enough and you should be charged for either a key fee or new locks...
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