Landlord won't return security deposit (Alabama)

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Old Mar 13th, 2010, 10:11 AM   #1
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Default Landlord won't return security deposit (Alabama)

Alabama. I moved out of my apartment in Dec. 09. I found a stray puppy and animals weren't allowed. My landlord cleaned the carpet, which cost $150 and took it out of my $300 security deposit. She said she'd be able to return the rest but has yet to do so. The last time I called her she made it seem like that because I broke the lease by having a puppy, I forfeited the rights to my security deposit. I know that breaking the lease doesn't forfeit the deposit and that there are certain penalties for witholding a security deposit without at least giving a list of itemized deductions and I'm trying to find out what my rights are.
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Old Mar 13th, 2010, 04:49 PM   #2
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Default re: Landlord won't return security deposit (Alabama)

The LL had to send a deposit statement to you within 14 days of vacating if you gave proper notice to vacate, within 30 days if you did not. Did you get this statement? If not, did you give your forwarding address (in writing) to the LL? Send a demand letter for the statement and deposit to the LL by certified mail, rrr, and keep a copy. Make sure you include your forwarding address in writing. (Some states say the LL has no responsibility to return it if they don't get that forwarding.) If the LL doesn't return it, sue for the deposit in small claims court.
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Old Mar 14th, 2010, 12:57 PM   #3
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Default re: Landlord won't return security deposit (Alabama)

File in small claims asap. As soon as you do, you are likely to get paid.
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Old Mar 15th, 2010, 08:06 AM   #4
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Default re: Landlord won't return security deposit (Alabama)

If the poster has not provided the forwarding address in writing to the LL, he needs to send the letter before he files any court case. There are several states whose laws says the LL has no obligation to return the deposit if a forwarding is not provided. (If you don't give it in writing, how do you prove it was provided?) If he has not and he files for the deposit in small claims, he would be awarded nothing since he has not complied with the law. Send the demand letter, then file if he doesn't return your money.
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Old Mar 15th, 2010, 09:37 AM   #5
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Default Re: Landlord won't return security deposit (Alabama)

She told me to text my new address to her and I did, and the last time I talked to her she told me she had it.
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Old Mar 15th, 2010, 10:08 AM   #6
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Default Re: Landlord won't return security deposit (Alabama)

How will you prove a text message in court? Can you prove that she actually received or read it? (Her phone may have been uncharged, her cell provider down, text messages disabled, etc.) Unless you can prove she has it, you need to send this in WRITTEN form, by certified mail, return receipt required, so you can prove she has it. (You can be sure she will claim she doesn't have it, if it goes to court.) So send the forwarding, along with your demand letter today.

So many people think they can call, text, or e-mail notices, only to find out later that they are inadmissible in court and don't provide proof of receipt of the notice. There is nothing that will beat the old fashioned way of written communication when it comes to a court case. Send this and keep a copy, along with the postcard that comes back PROVING she has it. Then if you have to sue, you have proof that she had this and can sue for 2-3x the deposit as wrongful withholding (if permitted per your state laws.)
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