Securing your security deposit
LITTLE ROCK (KATV) -
A security deposit is meant to offer protection to a property owner. If it isn't needed it should be returned.
But…that doesn't always happen.
If a landlord owns six or more properties then he or she can't charge a security deposit that is more than two month’s rent.
Also a landlord has 60 days to return that deposit after a tenant moves out.
Unless a landlord has some legitimate reasons to keep some of that deposit money.
Emily Noah of North Little Rock says she did not give her landlord any of those reasons.
"I cleaned the apartment for two days straight,” recalls Emily. “Wiped down the walls...every cobweb. Dusted. Cleaned out every cabinet. Absolutely wiped down the tub with bleach. It was spotless."
Emily says that according to her lease her deposit should have been returned within 30 days. She gave her landlord two months written notice prior to the expiration of her lease that she would not be renewing. She gave him her forwarding address. And she owed no rent or late fees.
"I lived here for two years straight and I paid my rent in full...usually a week before it was due I would mail the check," says Emily.
You can increase your chances of getting back your security deposit if you do the following:
Get a written copy of your lease. Read it and keep it.
Take photos and video and make a list of any damages or problems before you move in.
Take photos and video of the property when you move out.
Have an independent witness on hand to verify the conditions on both occasions.
Keep copies of emails, texts or other written communications between you and your landlord.
All will be necessary if you reach your last resort.
"The only thing that people have told me is small claims court," says Emily.
Emily's landlord tells Seven-On-Your-Side that the proverbial check is in the mail...so she is not ready to go to court...and we're not ready to name him...quite yet.
Emily's landlord has been sued for security deposits before...and lost. He is due in court Thursday to face charges he is in violation of city business regulations.
Air date: August 15th, 2017