Skip to main content
Christopher R. Minelli

Christopher Minelli’s Answers

174 total


  • My landlord did not return out security deposit after 30 days. He stated he was keeping the whole deposit after the 30 days.

    Isnt there a fl statue that states he has 30 days to send up a CERTIFIED letter stating why he is keeping our deposit?

    Christopher’s Answer

    Your question is a good one and should probably be directed to a local attorney. The answer is heavily dependent on local law, but I can give you a basic overview of security deposits for your reference. The local attorney will be able to answer more specific questions.

    Generally, a security deposit remains the tenant's property and a landlord has a fiduciary duty to keep it separate and maintain an accurate accounting. The landlord also has a duty to return unused funds with a final accounting after the tenancy is ended.

    In your case, it sounds like the landlord just informed you that he was keeping the deposit with no details. He should (under the majority American rule and likely in Florida as well) have given you a detailed description of what the money was spent on and why it was spent that way. I would be skeptical and question why he did what he did.

    I would recommend speaking to a local lawyer because security deposits are heavily dependent on local landlord-tenant ordinances or state law. Each state treats the relationship between landlord and security deposit the same, but the specifics (i.e. interest rate and remedies) are different.

    Good luck!

    NOTE: This answer is not intended to be legal advice and should not be construed in that way. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship and no such relationship may be created absent a signed retainer agreement. The author is licensed in Illinois only, and his answer is for educational purposes alone.

    See question 
  • Do I have any right to my deposit money if the developer has sold my condo unit?

    I put down $33,000 and paid $6,500 in upgrades for a condo unit that was getting built. I was supposed to close in May but because I went self employed last year I needed two years of tax returns to get a loan, so i would need to find a cosigner ...

    Christopher’s Answer

    It depends greatly on the written agreement you had between the developer and yourself. The agreement, if drafted properly, should note when you are entitled to your security back and how to go about getting it. Also, many (if not most) agreements would have a "financing contingency" built in that nullifies the contract if a buyer is unable to obtain financing. A lawyer (upon reviewing your agreement) would be able to give you more specific advice.

    Absent such a contingency or written material that deals with the security, it is possible you have a claim for fraud or breach of contract. Again, the answer is heavily dependent on (1) what the written contract says and (2) the specific facts of your dealings with the developer.

    Good luck!

    NOTE: This answer is not intended to be legal advice and should not be construed in that way. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship and no such relationship may be created absent a signed retainer agreement. The author is licensed in Illinois only, and his answer is for educational purposes alone.

    See question 
  • Its this an aggravated felony?

    I have a felony With theft of $1500 or less than $20,000 , my plea was Not guilty my punishment was 2 yrs in state jail, $ 800 fine. and 5 yrs probation. I only serve 4 mo in state jail, that was part of my probation and I had to pay $385 of rest...

    Christopher’s Answer

    The "aggravated" in aggravated felony depends on the statutory language of what you were charged with. According to the Illinois Penal Code of 1961, there is a small list of felonies that can be aggravated felonies, and statutory theft is not one of them. The felony status of your crime is determined by the value of what you allegedly stole.

    NOTE: This answer is not intended to be legal advice and should not be construed in that way. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship and no such relationship may be created absent a signed retainer agreement. The author is licensed in Illinois only, and his answer is for educational purposes alone.

    See question 
  • Can a 3rd party be sued for not mentioning and intentionaly giving herpes to someone?

    My now ex fiancé cheated on me while we were still intimate, my problem is that the person that he was cheating with has had Herpes for the last 3 years, I know this because she was a friend of the family. I never told my ex for the reason that it...

    Christopher’s Answer

    There is some case law in the United States that indicates a person in your situation would be able to recover for battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Illinois (to my knowlege) has not ruled on the matter as of yet.

    NOTE: This answer is not intended to be legal advice and should not be construed in that way. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship and no such relationship may be created absent a signed retainer agreement. The author is licensed in Illinois only, and his answer is for educational purposes alone.

    See question 
  • Work not done

    I hired someone to put a batch on my roof and paid him $300.00 he was on the roof fo 5 min.and told me it should not leak anymore,but if it does he would come back and fix it for free.Well it leaks in the same place i do nt think he did anything.i...

    Christopher’s Answer

    Generally, Illinois does recognize oral contracts. It is possible that you could take him to small claims court, but it may not be cost-effective. The filing fee is almost 1/2 of what you are asking for in addition to service of process fees. Make sure you look at the FAQ's section of the Cook County Circuit Court website to get information on filing a small claims action pro se.

    Another question to ask yourself -- if you win, does this guy have the money to pay you? Sometimes people are "judgment proof" and this it would be a waste of time to sue.

    Another (and cheaper) is to contact the Illinois Attorney General's office and tell them your situation. They monitor consumer scams and it is possible they might be able to help.

    Good luck!

    NOTE: This answer is not intended to be legal advice and should not be construed in that way. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship and no such relationship may be created absent a signed retainer agreement. The author is licensed in Illinois only, and his answer is for educational purposes alone.

    See question 
  • Prroperty manager holding security deposit when they go out of business and or file bankruptcy.

    My property manager is going out of business and while they are holding no rent money, they are holding security deposits from tenants that were recently evicted which is due my company since the tenants did not pay the rent payment. Since this m...

    Christopher’s Answer

    Your question is a good one and should probably be directed to a local attorney in your state. The answer is heavily dependent on local law, but I can give you a basic overview of security deposits for your reference.

    Generally, a security deposit is separate from the rent payments (sometimes called "dependent convenants" in the lease) and the deposit cannot be used for rent payments or matters not germane to the specifics of why the deposit is given as delineated in the lease. This is because the deposit (in most states) is considered to be the property of the tenant even if in the custody of the landlord.

    A landlord is usually required to place a security deposit in a separate account. This is known as not "commingling" the funds. Basically, a security deposit remains the tenant's property, and a landlord has a fiduciary duty to keep it separate and maintain an accurate accounting. Also, the landlord has a duty to return unused funds with a final accounting after the tenancy is ended.

    It is likely not a "criminal" matter, unless PA law has some sort of criminal statute covering this sort of thing. A better approach would be civil remedies and (if PA law allows it) a call to the state attorney general. I would recommend speaking to a local lawyer because security deposits are heavily dependent on local landlord-tenant ordinances or state law. Each state treats the relationship between landlord and security deposit the same, but the specifics (i.e. interest rate and remedies) are different.

    Good luck!

    NOTE: This answer is not intended to be legal advice and should not be construed in that way. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship and no such relationship may be created absent a signed retainer agreement. The author is licensed in Illinois only, and his answer is for educational purposes alone.

    See question 
  • Does the separate bank account maintained for security deposit have to have any of the tenant's information attached to it?

    i.e. the tenants name or social sec no.

    Christopher’s Answer

    Your question is a good one and should probably be directed to a local attorney in your state. The answer is heavily dependent on local law, but I can give you a basic overview of security deposits for your reference.

    Generally, a security deposit is separate from the rent payments (sometimes called "dependent convenants" in the lease) and the deposit cannot be used for rent payments or matters not germane to the specifics of why the deposit is given as delineated in the lease. This is because the deposit (in most states) is considered to be the property of the tenant even if in the custody of the landlord.

    A landlord is usually required to place a security deposit in a separate account. This is known as not "commingling" the funds. Basically, a security deposit remains the tenant's property, and a landlord has a fiduciary duty to keep it separate and maintain an accurate accounting. Also, the landlord has a duty to return unused funds with a final accounting after the tenancy is ended.

    In many states, a landlord is also responsible for paying the tenant a small amount of interest on the deposit. This amount can sometimes be raised by local ordinances, especially in large metropolitan areas.

    I would recommend speaking to a local lawyer because security deposits are heavily dependent on local landlord-tenant ordinances or state law. Each state treats the relationship between landlord and security deposit the same, but the specifics (i.e. interest rate and remedies) are different.

    Good luck!

    NOTE: This answer is not intended to be legal advice and should not be construed in that way. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship and no such relationship may be created absent a signed retainer agreement. The author is licensed in Illinois only, and his answer is for educational purposes alone.

    See question 
  • Security deposit--landloard

    Hi, 1. the tenant signed the walk through list, it lists most of damages and issues. 2. I told him it might need professional contract to evaluate cost of repair before I could give back his secutity deposit 3. but we lost the original walk lis...

    Christopher’s Answer

    Your question is a good one and should probably be directed to a local attorney in your state. The answer is heavily dependent on local law, but I can give you a basic overview of security deposits for your reference.

    Generally, a security deposit is separate from the rent payments (sometimes called "dependent convenants" in the lease) and the deposit cannot be used for rent payments or matters not germane to the specifics of why the deposit is given as delineated in the lease. This is because the deposit (in most states) is considered to be the property of the tenant even if in the custody of the landlord.

    A landlord is usually required to place a security deposit in a separate account. This is known as not "commingling" the funds. Basically, a security deposit remains the tenant's property, and a landlord has a fiduciary duty to keep it separate and maintain an accurate accounting. Also, the landlord has a duty to return unused funds with a final accounting after the tenancy is ended.

    In many states, a landlord is also responsible for paying the tenant a small amount of interest on the deposit. This amount can sometimes be raised by local ordinances, especially in large metropolitan areas.

    I would recommend speaking to a local lawyer because security deposits are heavily dependent on local landlord-tenant ordinances or state law. Each state treats the relationship between landlord and security deposit the same, but the specifics (i.e. interest rate and remedies) are different.

    Good luck!

    NOTE: This answer is not intended to be legal advice and should not be construed in that way. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship and no such relationship may be created absent a signed retainer agreement. The author is licensed in Illinois only, and his answer is for educational purposes alone.

    See question 
  • Can a landlord keep my security deposit if I backed out before moving in or signing a lease? (CA)

    I recently was intending to rent a townhouse, and gave the landlord a security deposit on July 10th (and got a signed receipt.) I was told that it would be refunded in full if my rental app was denied. However, twelve days later I found out I wo...

    Christopher’s Answer

    Your question is a good one and should probably be directed to a local attorney in your state. The answer is heavily dependent on local law, but I can give you a basic overview of security deposits for your reference.

    The answer depends heavily on the lease you signed and whether it has an "acceleration" clause or something similar that would make all the rent due upon breach. Generally, a security deposit is not the property of the landlord; it is required to be kept seperate from the landlord's general funds.

    Suing in small claims court (and defending against possible counterclaims -- get a lawyer to review the lease you signed for you) might be possible. I would recommend speaking to a local lawyer because security deposits are heavily dependent on local landlord-tenant ordinances or state law. Each state treats the relationship between landlord and security deposit the same, but the specifics (i.e. interest rate and remedies) are different.

    Good luck!

    NOTE: This answer is not intended to be legal advice and should not be construed in that way. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship and no such relationship may be created absent a signed retainer agreement. The author is licensed in Illinois only, and his answer is for educational purposes alone.

    See question 
  • Landlord security deposit

    when my tenant moved out, he refused to give my new address but saying use email, I sent walk through list as well as itemized list by email, but did not get any respond, after 21 days, tenant sent me certified mail asking whole deposit back and I...

    Christopher’s Answer

    I would recommend speaking to a local lawyer because security deposits are heavily dependent on local landlord-tenant ordinances or state law. Each state treats the relationship between landlord and security deposit the same, but the specifics (i.e. interest rate and remedies) are different.

    Additionally, if you have been sued and a case is actively pending against you, there are STRICT DEADLINES that need to be followed. Instead of looking for free advice on the internet, I would highly recommend speaking with a local lawyer as soon as possible to make sure your rights are protected in court.

    Good luck!

    NOTE: This answer is not intended to be legal advice and should not be construed in that way. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship and no such relationship may be created absent a signed retainer agreement. The author is licensed in Illinois only, and his answer is for educational purposes alone.

    See question