get my security deposit back What have you failed to do?: get my security deposit back

By Platypus on Wednesday, December 25, 2002 - 11:54 pm:

    ARGH! It's been three weeks. What should I do? I've never had a landlord who sucks big green hairy grinch cock before.

    I mean, really, *where* is the spirit of Christmas here? I was thinking about sending along a little Christmas loving myself, something along the lines of:

    Dear fuckface:

    I am somewhat concerned about your failure to contact me regarding the return of my security deposit. As you know, I have made several attempts to contact you, and have received no reply.
    I am not sure if you are aware of several provisions in California regarding the always sticky issue of the security deposit, so I thought I would include them for you (they are also available in full length at
    Section (f) of California code 150.5 states that:
    “Within three weeks after the tenant has vacated the premises, the landlord shall furnish the tenant, by personal delivery or by first-class mail, postage prepaid, a copy of an itemized statement indicating the basis for, and the amount of, any security received and the disposition of the security and shall return any remaining portion of the security to the tenant.”
    Today being the 26th of December, it is long past the official three weeks (21 days) since my vacancy of the room.
    You should also be aware that according to section (k) of California code 150.5:
    “(k) The bad faith claim or retention by a landlord or the landlord' s successors in interest of the security or any portion thereof in violation of this section, or the bad faith demand of replacement security in violation of subdivision (i), may subject the landlord or the landlord's successors in interest to statutory damages of up to six hundred dollars ($600), in addition to actual damages. The court may award damages for bad faith whenever the facts warrant such an award, regardless of whether the injured party has specifically requested relief. In any action under this section, the landlord or the landlord's successors in interest shall have the burden of proof as to the reasonableness of the amounts claimed or the authority pursuant to this section to demand additional security deposits.”
    I understand that, being the end of the year, it is often difficult to pay bills. You will of course appreciate that I am in a similar situation. Rather than taking legal recourse, I would prefer to reach an understanding regarding my deposit—some sort of confirmation of the amount due and a date by which you estimate it will be mailed would be appreciated. Should you fail to respond to this letter, I will be obligated to take legal action, since continuing to ignore me would be construed as acting in bad faith.


    your very pissed off tenant

    Anyone had a crappy landlord/have ideas? Apparently I can put a lien on her property without taking her to court. Which might be kind of satisfying but not very productive...I really was trying to be nice about this, but I'm just not in the mood for being fucked around right now.

    Why, God, WHY?

By kazoo on Thursday, December 26, 2002 - 01:05 am:

    I had a problem just like this. Several years ago I moved out of an apartment in August and finally got my deposit back in December after my mother sent a letter from her office. He sent the deposit immediately claiming that my former roommate and I had never sent a forwarding address. That was a lie. I'd left an address and a phone number with his wife and on his machine. Several times.

    I'll just give you my lil' ole' humble opinion and impression of the letter, since all I know about the California legal code is what you've put up there. I don't know if you should even mention any legal mumbo-jumbo???

    Regarding the final paragraph, I think you should emphasize your desire to avoid legal action, but be firm about getting your money from her, not an estimation. The part about paying bills sounds a little strange...I know you are trying to be nice, but returning a security deposit is not a bill. Now, if I read correctly, shouldn't she have that money readily available? And if she she does not, she has to be able to tell you what landlord-related expenses she used it for, correct?

    Good luck. I'll show me mum if I get a chance tomorrow, but I don't think she will be much help as she deals with mostly Massachusetts and New Hampshire real estate.

By JusMiceElf on Thursday, December 26, 2002 - 11:08 am:

    Platy, don't forget to send it registered, and require a signature. Then you've got a record of her receipt of your letter, so there's not possiblitiy of her claiming she didn't see it.

By Platypus on Thursday, December 26, 2002 - 11:17 am:

    Yeah, that was my plan actually has several steps--my lawyer is calling her on monday to try and get a response. He said I should put in the legal mumbo jumbo so that if I take her to court she can't say "but I didn't know, your honor." I don't really want to send it, since it is really antagonistic, but if she wants to play this way I guess I will. I'm also trying the whole "official looking letter on lawyer letterhead" thing, that's getting mailed today. Basically it's to cover my butt in court to make it clear that I attempted, multiple times, to contact her and get her to pony up. Hence the somewhat sarcastic final paragraph...

    However, since she behaves like a three year old, this may be difficult. Bleh. I just want my money.

By semillama on Thursday, December 26, 2002 - 06:00 pm:

    I recent;y got my security deposit back - the full amount. I was sort of surprised, but then, i did have an honest landlord, unlike the jackoffs back in Wisconisn, who can eat the shit from my ass in hell.

By patrick on Monday, December 30, 2002 - 11:45 am:

    i question the time you cite as allowed by law platy, because i when i was breathing down the neck of my former landlord for my cash, they reminded me that by law, they have 30 days. where you get your info?

By Platypus on Monday, December 30, 2002 - 12:10 pm:

    uhm, section (f) of california code 150.5..."Within three weeks after the tenant has vacated the premises..." Your old landlord gave you the run-around, patrick.

    sem, that's awesome. my new landlords are really cool. They didn't actually ask for a security deposit, but if they had, they would be cool about it. i'm only going to rent from cooler old people now, that's the new rule.

By patrick on Monday, December 30, 2002 - 12:29 pm:

    doesnt matter I got it on the 16th. I moved out on the 30th. No biggie.

By Platypus on Monday, December 30, 2002 - 12:34 pm:

    see, you have good ex-landlords. filled with the christmas spirit of joy and love. whereas i have a psycho ex-landlord. argh. i would really like to have that money.

By patrick on Monday, December 30, 2002 - 12:49 pm:

    if they still havent paid you. see about charging them interest. which by the way, they have to pay interest earned on your deposit for your stay too.

By Platypus on Monday, December 30, 2002 - 06:14 pm:

    I'm not entitled to interest in Oakland, they only have that in some parts of California (LA, Berkeley...).

    Ok, so my lawyer called her, and I got a very bitchy email (which she would really regret if I ever took her ass to court), and I sent her back a very nice email, something like: "ok, thanks, I was just worried since I hadn't heard from you, have a nice new year."

    She's claiming that I'm not entitled to my deposit until the 10th, since I gave notice for the 20th. California law clearly states that I am entitled to the deposit within three weeks of vacancy, regardless of when I gave notice. (Or so my lawyer assures me.) So, I really wanted to say "you fucking bith whore, go read section 1950.5, and SUCK IT!" But I didn't. Anyway, my lawyer said that I should be nice and wait until the 10th, even though she's wrong, and then haul her ass to court.

    Either way, she's getting a snarky note from me as soon as the check clears. Something along the lines of "rot in hell, bitch."

    Meanwhile, I have 7.46 in my bank account, and I would really like it if some of the places I applied for jobs at would hurry up and reply.

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