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Christopher R. Minelli

Christopher Minelli’s Answers

174 total


  • I gave a serurity deposit of $680.00 to the lanlord. i didnt take the apartment he only gave me $50.00 back is that legal?

    I gave a security deposit of $680.00 on an apartment.i didnt take the apartment, the lanlord only gave me $50.00 back out of the security deposit, is that Legal?

    Christopher’s Answer

    The answer depends on local law and ordinances and any agreement you may have had with the landlord. If the written lease you had mentioned a part of the security deposit as being nonrefundable (and it satisfies contract law principles of liquidated damages), AND there is no state or local law against such an arrangement, then it is possible the arrangement is legal.

    I recommend consulting a local attorney, as it is a lot of money. A free consultation with a lawyer might be fruitful. The lawyer will likely want to see copies of anything written between the landlord and yourself.

    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.

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  • My ex-landlord has not given me my security deposit back and its beentwo months,what can i do about this?

    he does not answer phone email or fax.

    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.

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  • Can i use my security deposit for the last months rent? Also any work that needed done during the coarse of the lease, i did.

    All of the other tenants that i talk to all complain, they have leaky roofs and so on. She does not follow thru with anything that needs fixed.

    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.

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  • Does the landlord have the right to withhold a security deposit?

    A group of us signed a lease in Feb. for a house in Aug. Two people backed out. We talked to the landlord and explained the situation, and told him we couldnt move in. He signed a lease with other tenants. But said he needed to talk with us about ...

    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 I back out on a lease agreement and get the security deposit back?

    about a month ago, i secured a townhouse in VA. I just got here and saw the place and its in a horrible neiborhood, it has roaches, and there are several things that make it just unsatisfactory. I have paid the security deposit and am wondering if...

    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.

    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.

    As far as your fact pattern is concerned, the local law and the agreement you signed will likely be the controlling rules. Some locales allow for a portion of a security deposit to be nonrefundable; some do not but allow a landlord to hold a "processing fee" or something similar that performs the same function. Other locations have no such regulation and the agreement between the landlord and yourself is controlling.

    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 
  • Am I required to return security deposit?

    I rent apartments using a month to month Rental Agreement. The agreement stated that they must give 30 days notice of their intent to move. If they fail to give this notice or give this notice on the 20th of the month when their rent is due on t...

    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 
  • In IL, who should I sue to obtain my security deposit if the unit was being managed by a realty group on behalf of the owner?

    After some last minute contention between the realty agent and myself, the agent conducted a walk-through of the unit when I was not present, and she did not wish to accommodate. Anticipating some trouble, I took pictures prior to handing over th...

    Christopher’s Answer

    In addition to the above answers, the proper party / parties for such a suit should be those listed on the written lease. Illinois law considers a written lease to be as much of a contract as a property conveyance. In addition to the RLTO definition of landlord, a court would likely find the named parties (getting a benefit from your tenancy -- namely rent) on the lease would be a proper party.

    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 
  • Is the rental security deposit bad check a criminal?

    I rented my house on August 01 2009. I gave them house key but received security deposit which was bounced twice. Today is August 9th 2009. I didn't receive any money even for rental. They called me and said they would give me security deposit...

    Christopher’s Answer

    The above answer is good advice. Once a landlord has leased his house, condo, or apartment, then a specific legal relationship (that of landlord-tenant) is created. You must go through the eviction proceedings of your jurisdiction to lawfully end the landlord-tenant relationship. A local attorney can help with specifics.

    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 
  • Is it legal to apply rent towards security deposit.

    We rented a cabin/house in April 2009. The landlord waived the security deposit.The place has no window screens, inadequate plumbing and no exterior lighting. Plus other defects. She also gave our keys to a neighbor who is a known thief and has be...

    Christopher’s Answer

    It sounds like you have several legal issues to contend with besides the question of the security deposit. 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 
  • What should I do after I have objected to the Landlord's claim on my security deposit and the landlord has failed to respond?

    My previous landlord did in fact send me a notice of their claim on my security deposit. However, prior to my recieving this notice the landlord submitted the claim to a collection agency. I did object to the claim within the 15 day period specifi...

    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