Yes, I know exactly what you are thinking, you can’t do anything about your landlord taking your deposit. You moved out of your apartment and were given a list of things you had to do. You did them spot on, exactly as you were supposed to do them, and yet your landlord still took your whole deposit.
Don’t get caught in this trap again. A lot of landlords think because you are a renter that they can get away with anything. This is completely wrong. Legally, a landlord can only take your deposit if they can prove they have recourse to take back that money (from damages or cleaning for example). The court almost always judges in favor of what is reasonable. If the landlord wants $1,000 for carpet cleaning of a small two bedroom apartment, that isn’t going to fly. Or, if your landlord just all of the sudden tells you that there was “unexpected” cleaning, this is also a red flag and will not fly in court. What is even better about this, is that if your landlord has anything showing that indicates he is full of crap, then the judge will be most likely to rule in your favor. And, you can make them pay legal fees! Check your local state laws and/or renters guide to see what your specific situation is.
The problem is that most renters feel like they can’t do anything and they have to just let their landlord walk all over them. This should never happen to you ever. Know your rights, know the rules, and work within the confines of these laws to benefit as much as possible.
Before we finish this article, I would like to point out the common traps we all face that you should be aware of. Hopefully, if you remember this list well enough, you won’t get caught in any of these traps again.
ALWAYS GIVE 30 DAYS NOTICE:
Fail to do this, and you could be stuck with a huge month to month rent payment until the end of the next month. This could cost you one months super high month to month rent charge. Or, if you get in an even worse situation your lease might automatically roll into a minimum 6 month or some other term lease, in which case if the original lease you signed said this is the case, you might be stuck owing monthly-rent-charge * 6. Please DON’T FORGET THE 30 DAY NOTICE OR YOU MIGHT GET SCREWED.
DON’T THINK IT IS EASY TO GET KICKED OUT:
A lot of times for failure to abide by the stupid apartment complex rules, or because of some other dumb issue, complexes try to kick you out and give you threatening letters. Don’t fall trap or be afraid by this crap. The laws are pretty set and once you live somewhere, it takes a lot to get you to move out. You have to go to court and are still given a grace period. Know your rights, don’t let apartments push you around.
DON’T LET COMPLAINERS GET AWAY WITH IT:
Remember when you worked long hour weeks and you got your first Saturday with friends in a long time? You invited them over for a barbeque and then hung out, listened to music, and had a few drinks into the early hours of the night. The next day, you get a complaint for “talking loudly.” Well, this is a free country, and anyone who doesn’t own an isolated house somewhere in South Dakota or Alaska should keep their mouth shut. It is understandable that there is always going to be some noise in a shared living community. Just be reasonable about it. You can’t get in trouble for making reasonable noise, you aren’t required by law to live like you are in a graveyard or senior citizen’s home.