Doesn’t the Landlord Have to Give Me My Deposit?

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Owning your own home has advantages, but beware of this common renter’s problem.

As an Agent with almost 25 years of experience, I see this “Renter’s Trap” way too often.

Calling it a TRAP is a little harsh. With that said, many Buyers that I represent in finding a new home fall into this situation too often. If you are counting on your Deposit being returned to help fund your New Home down payment…Pay Attention!!

Here is an Article from the Texas Association of REALTORS® that explains it.

I am renting a place with two other roommates, and our lease (the form is the Texas Association of REALTORS® Residential Lease) ends in less than a month. I’ve decided to move out, but my roommates are going to stay. I sent in my notice of termination as the lease required and let the landlord know my forwarding address. I want my portion of the security deposit back, but the landlord is saying he doesn’t have to provide it to me because my roommates haven’t “surrendered the property.” My roommates signed a new lease for another year, so shouldn’t I be getting a refund of my security deposit?

Not yet. Your landlord is correct … the security deposit is not due for refund or an accounting until 30 days after the remaining two tenants surrender the property.

Generally, a landlord has a duty to refund and/or provide a written description and itemized list of all deductions on or before the 30th day after the day the tenant surrenders the rental property. “Surrender” is defined in paragraph 16 of the Texas Association of REALTORS® Residential Lease as “when all occupants have vacated the Property, in Landlord’s reasonable judgment, and one of the following events occurs: (a) the date Tenant specifies as the move-out or termination date in a written notice to Landlord has passed; or (b) Tenant returns keys and access devices that Landlord provided to Tenant under this lease.”

When there are multiple tenants in a rental property, “surrender” does not occur until the last occupant moves out. A landlord may not know what deductions need to be taken out of the security deposit until that time. Additionally, under the lease, the tenants are jointly and severally liable for all provisions in the lease, including damages to the property, which could be taken out of the security deposit. Therefore, it would be difficult for a landlord to refund or account for a security deposit if only one of three tenants has moved out.

Even if you have moved out of the property, returned the keys, given proper notice of termination, provided a written forwarding address and are not delinquent in rent (all the possible reasons a landlord has to delay the security deposit refund and/or accounting), if the remaining tenants extend or sign a new lease with the landlord, no one would be entitled to a refund or accounting of the security deposit yet because not all tenants have surrendered. Therefore, the 30-day clock has not yet been started.

In this situation, you may want to settle the splitting of the security deposit with your roommates. That way you do not have to wait to for a refund or accounting of the security deposit.

RESOURCE:  Author – Abby Lee

That article really defines the reasons that a Landlord may NOT return your Deposit right away. If you are in this similar situation, I wanted to alert you to what may happen to you also.

I work with many people in the McAllen, Tx and surrounding areas. People who are ready to BUY their first home.

Are you are in a lease with another person?

Are you ready to break away and BUY your first home?

Hopefully, this BLOG POST has helped you avoid a common situation with First Time Home Buyers on using their deposit as part of their down payment.

There is NO better time to buy because Interest Rates are at HISTORICAL LOW Rates now.

Did you know that in 1920, before the Great Depression, Mortgage Rates were at 5.5%. As of today, rates are in the 4’s. They will NOT be there long, and NOW is the time to lock in a FIXED Rates and buy a home. Quit throwing away money every month on rent. Start building EQUITY in your home for the future.

Contact Me – So we can get together for a short talk. It will save you TIME and MONEY.

I hangout on FACEBOOK and you can also PM me there. Do it now, and let me show you how easy it can be to buy your first home.

I am a GEEK that is cleverly disguised as a Real Estate Agent. I do not SELL Real Estate. I MARKET Real Estate Online and Offline. Use my 20+ years of Valuation Services to suggest the correct price for you as a Seller. As a Buyer, my experience in pricing Real Estate is your ticket to saving money when purchasing. Investors love me because of the years working with REO and Foreclosed properties. Contact Me – Let me help you today!