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Old 11-01-2008, 05:43 PM
12 posts, read 46,174 times
Reputation: 10


Hi, I have a question regarding what steps I can take in order to get my ex-landlord to return my security deposit ?. I've called the landlord several times and sent a certified letter requesting the return of the deposit, all to no avail.

The problem is that I no longer live in Texas so a personal appearance in a Small Claims Court is not really feasible.

Is there some process that applies to people who have moved Out of State ?.

Many thanks in advance.
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Old 11-02-2008, 08:19 AM
7 posts, read 16,821 times
Reputation: 15
Maleko, if the landlord is a member of the Texas (or is he in another state?) Association of Realtors and you signed a TAR lease form, you can threaten to take the matter up with TAR; if landlord is a REALTOR and pays lip service to his 'reputation', this may sway him into action. (Or not; I once had negative dealings with a local 'buyers agent'; the local TAR was useless; it took small claims court and an eventual threat to take the uncollected debt up with the TX Real Estate Comm before diablo returned my money, with interest and the local deputy's "till-tap" fee added...

Otherwise, threaten to file a complaint with the Texas Attorney General's office. Any threat should be made in proper business legal English; typed; proofread; &tc. Give him 15 days to respond, then carry through.

Also, If you are a minority--or suspect his refusal to talk with you or return your deposit may be influenced by your inability to defend yourself in his world--remind him that discriminating against you on the basis of skin color or country of origin is illegal...this should jolt any landlord into action, unless he's in a podunk town of fellow travelers and isn't aware of the law.

Another idea: if you have a relative or friend still in-state who could forward the letter for you (mail letter to them in an outer envelope, use their address as return address on your envelope, have them fwd letter to him for you in order to obtain local P.O. stamp on the envelope), it could help make a believer of him (i.e.; she's back in town! fully capable of suing me in small claims court!).

Hope this gives you some ideas. Good luck, mp
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Old 11-02-2008, 08:53 AM
Location: Central Texas
20,795 posts, read 39,779,033 times
Reputation: 24264
Where in Texas are you talking about? Some places (Austin is one of them) have tenants' councils that can be of assistance in situations like this and are resources for information.
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Old 11-03-2008, 02:00 PM
12 posts, read 46,174 times
Reputation: 10
Thanks for the replies.

The house we rented was in Allen (just north of Dallas). This was a private rental, not through an Agency or Realtor. Strangely, we never had any issues with the landlord for the 2 years that we lived there.

Sending a letter to the AG might be a good idea although I do wonder if he would be that interested in someone who doesn't live in Texas anymore.

It just strikes me that I can't be the first person to have a problem like this and that there must be some sort of way to pursue this guy in Small Claims Court or something similar without being resident in the State.

Just as an aside, this situation gets even better. Anyone moving out of a property that GCEC supplies power to should take note of this. I just found out today that even though we told GCEC the date that we were leaving (almost 2 months ago now), they say that we are still responsible for the electricity charges until a new name is added to the account (which the landlord hasn't bothered to do of course, despite our requests). So we are (according to GCEC) liable for the charges up to today, even though someone else may be living there. The only way we can remove our liability for future charges is to tell them to disconnect the power, which we have now done.
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