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Can I prove my landlord acted in "bad faith" and sue for security deposit?

Spring, TX |

Three month lease, paid in full, no rent due. Moved out 1 month early didn't demand rent monies. LL refused walk through and has not provided list of itemized deductions. We have text messages and e-mails which "threaten" our deposit in reprisal for our refusal to surrender keys, et al. BLUF: Texas Property Code says we might be due 3 X deposit if the landlord is found to have acted in "bad faith." Also refused mediation request. L/L provided e-mail with alleged damages and a promise of estimates within 7 days-nothing doing. L/L claims breach of contract by "abandonment" b/c we did not have written permission to vacate. We have a text message saying "It's OK to move out as long as we were gone by the 10th. We expected walk through right after we left property to agree upon return of S/D.

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Attorney answers 1


I recommend you consult with a local Texas tenant attorney to review your claim and provide you a strategy for recovery. In California, courts are hesitant to order bad faith punitive damages unless you can show that the LL defrauded you of your security deposit. As Attorney Burdge put it, "Bad faith can be an intentional dishonest act by not fulfilling legal or contractual obligations, misleading another, entering into an agreement without the intention or means to fulfill it, or violating basic standards of honesty in dealing with others."

-Michael R. Juarez Law Office of Juarez and Schaeffer PO Box 16216 San Diego, CA 92105 (619) 804-4327 This posting is provided for “information purposes” only and should not be relied upon as "legal advice." Nothing transmitted from this posting constitutes the establishment of an attorney-client relationship. Applicability of the legal principles discussed here may differ substantially in individual situations or in different jurisdictions.