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Old 05-12-2009, 06:32 PM
 
10 posts, read 31,343 times
Reputation: 11

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Hello,

My roommate and I moved out of our condo in FL on April 1st. My roommate stayed in FL and I moved to WA. When I moved in I paid last months rent and a deposit equal to one month's rent.

This was my first time renting and I honestly didn't know I had to sent a notice of intent to vacate so I just called the landlord company earlier that month and told her. She knew we were leaving due to me losing my job. I did send her a intent to vacate letter but it was not certified and it arrived with 8 days notice. We were on a month-to-month with no lease and FL law states that it should've been a 15 day notice.

I didn't get a walkthrough of the place before I left. I had no idea again that it was required or needed.

Now the issue. It's been 42 days and I haven't received any documents whatsoever. When moving into my new place they did a rental check and she said we owed $1,200. I believe that they are charging an extra month's rent due to my failure to give proper legal notice (that sucks considering she did actually know ahead of time). My new landlord has temporarily granted me approval to live here due to the fact that the landlord didn't provide the rental checking company with any information.
I was told by them that I need to resolve this money issue.

I read that if failure to give proper notice to vacate doesn't occur, it relieves the landlord of the 30 days to impose a claim on the deposit. How long does the landlord have in my case to impose a claim on my deposit?

Also, I have to deal with this somehow. Should I take her to small claims court and settle our differences there? I'm in WA though and I have no money to fly back to FL.
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Old 05-12-2009, 06:44 PM
 
1,788 posts, read 4,399,120 times
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Ignorance of the parameters of your lease do not alleviate you of your obligation to follow it. You screwed up, so you'll very likely have to pay for your mistake. Should just pay it and get it over with; will cost you a lot more than $1200 to fight it from out of state.
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Old 05-12-2009, 06:57 PM
 
10 posts, read 31,343 times
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Well, I don't believe there's need for a nasty comment like that. I'm asking for legal advice. It's my right to fight anything I want.

What is the legal length of time to claim my deposit if I only gave a 8 day written notice instead of a 15 day notice?
Perhaps writing some random forum wasn't the best way to get advice.
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Old 05-12-2009, 07:06 PM
 
850 posts, read 4,410,474 times
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It was your obligation to provide written notice, so yes, you're responsible for that extra rent. And the landlord typically has 30 days from your last day of legal responsiblity (so through the notice period, not when you actually moved out) to itemize your deposit. But that varies from state to state, so I'd check with yours. Also, did you provide them with a written notice of your forwarding address? If you did, then you should have received notice from the landlord of the debt. If you didn't, then the landlord would have been acting reasonably to immediately report it to a collection agency and credit bureau for collection.

Also, could there have possibly been any damages that you don't know about that could have contributed to the charges as well? Since you didn't do a walk though, you don't know their opinion of the premises.

What exactly do you want to take her to court for?
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Old 05-12-2009, 07:25 PM
 
10 posts, read 31,343 times
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How can she charge me an extra's month rent when I gave 8 days notice instead of 15? There was no lease so why isn't she charging me 7 days prorated fee? Also, they are not rerenting the property they are trying to sell the property so they're not getting any rent period.

It's been 42 days and she hasn't sent me anything. I did give her my forwarding address in the intenet to vacate letter but regardless FL law says to send it to last known address which would be the place I lived. I have my mail forwarded and haven't received anything still.

If I gave her 8 days written notice when required to give 15 days...how long does she have to return or make claim to the security deposit? I haven't been able to find anyone who can answer that.
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Old 05-12-2009, 07:28 PM
 
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I'm going to request via certified mail that she give us a final accounting. I believe that is what is supposed to be sent. If she doesn't respond within 30 days to that letter then I'll deal with the situation from there.

She can't just tell a rental screening company that I owe money but never request that I pay the money. It seems like that would be common sense. I'm not paying money with NO bill or written request for the money.
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Old 05-12-2009, 07:36 PM
 
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Does anyone have an example letter that I could send? I'm not sure how to properly word the letter. It's basically to ask for a final accounting letter stating what happened to my deposit and what additional money I owe.
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Old 05-12-2009, 07:42 PM
 
850 posts, read 4,410,474 times
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Here's I think what the kicker is (taken from FL law)

When the tenancy is from month to month, by giving not less than 15 days' notice prior to the end of any monthly period;

I think you misunderstood your notice period. Since you're month to month, it's like you have a lease that goes from day 1 to day 30 of each month. You're required to give notice no later than the 15th of the month if you're vacating. If you're late your notice, then it becomes notice for the next term (month) and you're responsible for rent through that term (month). It does seem a little wacky, especially if you've not experienced with this type of notice before, but several landlords and several states handled their notice periods this way. There have been other posts in this forum about it in the past too if you want to do a search.

I definitely think you're due an accounting of your debt, so be sure to follow up on that. But honestly, it does sound like it's something you owe.
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Old 05-12-2009, 07:47 PM
 
1,788 posts, read 4,399,120 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by majax79 View Post
Well, I don't believe there's need for a nasty comment like that. I'm asking for legal advice. It's my right to fight anything I want.

What is the legal length of time to claim my deposit if I only gave a 8 day written notice instead of a 15 day notice?
Perhaps writing some random forum wasn't the best way to get advice.
What nasty comment? I told you the plain truth, without any personal judgements. By all means though, be my guest and go ahead and fight a Florida court case from across the country. You'll pay a lot more than that $1200 by the time it's over, because you'll pay what you owe her plus you'll pay all the court costs plus you'll pay for all your travel and time off work. But hey, knock yourself out.
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Old 05-12-2009, 07:52 PM
 
10 posts, read 31,343 times
Reputation: 11
Mod Cut... please no personal attacks.

@Babytarheelz, I agree with you. My only concern is how long the landlord has under FL law to make a claim on my deposit? I did see that it says they have to send certified letter. She absolutely has not and could not show any proof that she did.

I wonder if it's 30 days from May 1st. If I left on April 1st and she's claiming an additional month's rent. Then, it would seem she had til May 30th to make a claim on my deposit? Does that make sense? I can't find any legal definition of how long the landlord has if I only gave an 8 day notice instead of 15 day notice.

Last edited by Ultrarunner; 05-13-2009 at 02:33 AM..
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