He didn't do the moveout inspection on the agreed upon day, he didn't allow us to do any repairs despite the fact that we offered, the lease states a carpet cleaning company of his choice, but when we called the company he said he got the invoice from they had not rendered the service, and quoted us at $105 less than what he stated they charged him (300 dollars) he admitted he hadn't gotten the service, that was just what they charged him normally, He implied we lied when we had said we called them and gave them the exact terms and dimensions of the house. said we questioned his integrity. he provided these lists and deductions/invoices through email via PDF format. the move out inspection is dated May 15th, we didn't get his deductions list till the 21st, we were vacated by April 30thWe said we were willing to accept what he provided he made another excuse that he had lost the company checkbook despite the fact that our original security deposit was made out to the owner (we have copies)We have our offers to repair the premises and requests to tour them in writing and our requests for the deduction lists dated the 16th (1 day after he completed and mailed us move out inspection) he didnt respond to our contentions only emailed when we gave proof the items he claims were missing were at the property We have repeatedly offered to return the keys and garage door openers he claims we have he says hes unavailable even though we can deliver them He responded to the emails by using the reply button its clear that he read what we had said He hasnt made any attempt to return our money He has our forwarding address and our mail is being forwarded Its 5/22 his last email is dated 5/21 asking when can we meet we told him we could meet whenever Then he told us he lost the checkbook Do we have a case?
Yes, I think so. It appears you have sufficient facts to demonstrate to the court that the landlord acted in "bad faith" in refusing to return your security deposit. As such, the court should order the landlord to pay you the amount of the improperly withheld deposit, plus up to twice the amount of the security deposit as a "bad faith" penalty. (Civil Code Section 1950.5(l).)
Frank W. Chen has been licensed to practice law in California since 1988. The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice. This posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For specific advice about your particular situation, consult your own attorney.
You should always try to get all you can.
The above is general legal and business analysis. It is not "legal advise" but analysis, and different lawyers may analyse this matter differently, especially if there are additional facts not reflected in the question. I am not your attorney until retained by a written retainer agreement signed by both of us. I am only licensed in California. See also avvo.com terms and conditions item 9, incorporated as if it was reprinted here. Please visit my web site: www.avanesianlaw.com for more information about my services.
Based on the facts as you describe them in the question, I also believe you may have a viable claim against the landlord for the full amount of the deposit and a reasonable "shot" at a bad faith claim. Consult an attorney to help you prepare for court
Mr. Freitas is an attorney licensed in the State of California. The answer provided here is general information and not intended to be specific legal advice. There is not attorney client relationship created by Mr. Freitas' answering any question on this website.
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