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I moved out of my place August of 2012 and still havent got my deposit back - the office nor corporate will answer my calls

Seattle, WA |

Myself and many tenants in the complex have has issues with the office staff and management being very unorganized and shady - I moved out and let them know I was doing so 30 days in advance - I then went back 3 weeks later inquiring about my deposit because I cleaned the apartment better than it was when I moved in so there would be no need to take my security deposit. I was told in the office that I wouldnt be getting anything back and that I owed them money. I have asked them many times for valid proof of this balance owing in which they have failed to produce every time. Now no one will answer the phone. What should my next step be, I do not have a lot of income and looking for a contingency agreement of some sort. Can anyone advise me on my next step or who I might be able to contact

Attorney Answers 3

Posted

When you aren't getting anywhere being reasonable and logical, your next step is to ask the Court for help. If your deposit was less than $5,000.00 you can start this process in small claims. If you need help you can hire an attorney to help you, but you are better off starting in small claims. The District Court judges who hear small claims are intimiately familiar with the deposit rules and they have no patience with landlords who fail to follow the rules.

If your landlord wants to have somebody represent them, then your landlord can ask the Court to move the action to District Court. If that happens, you will do better with a lawyer than without. I have two guides on taking your landlord to small claims attached to my profile and I hope they are helpful to you.

The filing fee is $29; you have to have the Registered Agent of the landlord served if they are a corporation; you cannot serve, but a friend can do it for you. You'll have a court date within six weeks and then you can invoke the court's powers to get paid if necessary.

Elizabeth Powell

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thank you, very much appreciated!

Posted

If the landlord refuses to return your deposit and/or a statement of why some or all of it is being withheld within 14 days, you can sue for up to twice the amount of the deposit plus attorney fees. http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=59.18.280

Unless it is a very large deposit though, you may have difficulty finding an attorney who wants to take this on contingency, since 1/3 of twice a modest deposit might not amount to what their fees would typically be for going to court. Your best option may be small claims court, which is intended for disputes under $5000, and attorneys do not participate. Here's some info on small claims: http://www.washingtonlawhelp.org/files/C9D2EA3F-0350-D9AF-ACAE-BF37E9BC9FFA/attachments/39285D5E-B302-1D9D-41E3-E3BF638D39B7/1650919940EN.pdf

Avvo answers are attorney opinions offered for informational purposes only, and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Use of the Avvo Q&A forum does not create any attorney-client relationship.

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thank you, very much appreciated!

Posted

Hello,

Generally, a lanlord is required to give a detailed invoice of why he/she is not returning the deposit within the required time. (The required time vary from state to state). I agree with the other answers, you should file a claim in a small claims court. You may contact your local Legal Aid Services for legal help if you don't have money to retain an attorney.

The response to this question is not intended as legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. Mr. Seifeldein has responded based on the limited information provided by the inquirer in this forum. There is a Statute of Limitations applicable in every case and Mr. seifeldein strongly advises that the inquirer seek legal counsel immediately for a complete evaluation of the matter.

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thank you!

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