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Do I have to return the Security Deposit
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LandlordLaura
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 Posted: Wed Mar 21st, 2007 07:33 pm
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Shhweept82 and jam,

I'd like to hear what each of you decided to do.  Are you each holding the Tenants responsible for the Leases?

Please reply...

CoffeeGal
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 Posted: Wed Mar 21st, 2007 06:35 pm
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I have not  signed the lease yet, I have only given the landlord a check for the deposit.  I, have however, found a new apartment more to my liking. Since I have not signed a lease, the landlord has to return my security deposit doesn't he?

jam
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 Posted: Thu Feb 22nd, 2007 02:17 pm
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i also found this info   on the following site.

What have you guys decided to do?

check this out
http://www.texastenant.org/rights/securitydeposit/securitydeposit.html
 
 Never moved in

If you signed a lease and gave the landlord a security deposit, you may still get your deposit back if you never moved in. (You also can get the rent you gave the landlord.) But you only can get the these back if you find another tenant acceptable to the landlord to move in or the landlord finds a replacement tenant. Tex. Property Code 92.103. If the landlord finds the replacement tenant, the landlord can deduct a cancelation fee if it is in the lease (TAA's lease calls these "reletting fees" which are usually 85% of a month's rent); or if it is not in the lease, the landlord can deduct the actual expenses of finding the new tenant. Keep in mind that a landlord does have a duty to find a replacement tenant should the current tenant not go through with their lease. This is called their "duty to mitigate."

If neither you nor the landlord find a replacement tenant, then you need to be more concerned about the rent owed under the lease contract, than whether you are going to get your deposit back. Most landlords agree to let tenants out of their lease if they agree to forfeit the security deposit and pay the landlord one month's rent. But this is negotiable. For a more complete explanation see Terminating the Lease

jam
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 Posted: Thu Feb 22nd, 2007 01:49 pm
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 well i found this info it came from this site

http://www.rentlaw.com/dep/txdeposit.htm

 

What if the Tenant Breaks the Lease or Does not Move in After Paying a Deposit?
A tenant does not automatically forfeit the deposit for breaking a lease, but the deposit can be used to cover costs for which the tenant is liable. If a tenant must break a lease, doing everything possible to help the landlord re-rent the premises will reduce the tenant’s liability.

The landlord may have grounds to keep some or all of a deposit given to take a rental unit off the market, based on losses the landlord suffered. If a tenant has entered into a lease with a landlord and paid a security deposit or prepaid rent, and does not move into the unit, the tenant is entitled to a full refund if the tenant finds a replacement tenant satisfactory to the landlord who moves in by the date the lease was to begin. On the other hand, if the landlord secures the replacement tenant, the landlord may deduct from the security deposit or rent prepayment any amount agreed to in the lease as a lease cancellation fee OR actual expenses incurred by the landlord, including a reasonable amount for the landlord's time in finding a replacement tenant.

Once the property is rented to someone else, the tenant is not liable for additional rent unless the unit is sublet. If the property stands vacant for several days, weeks or months the landlord will be able to deduct from the deposit the actual amount of rent the landlord lost until a new tenant starts paying. If the property remains vacant for a period that is longer than is covered by the security deposit, then the landlord can hold the tenant liable for the lost rent covering the lease term until someone does move in so long as the landlord makes reasonable efforts to lease the property. The landlord can also charge for re-renting costs such as advertising.

Some leases have a reletting fee written into the contract. This fee can be as much as one month’s rent. A tenant may successfully challenge their landlord about this arbitrary amount based on the fact that security deposits are meant to be used to cover actual financial losses. If a landlord spends the equivalent of the reletting fee to re-rent the apartment, then that is a legitimate charge. However, if a landlord runs a $50 ad, re-rents the place quickly and loses no rent but tries to charge the tenant the whole reletting fee, that may be considered a penalty and unenforceable under Texas law.

Some leases state that the tenant “forfeits”, or loses, the security deposit if the lease is breached or broken. Just because something is written in a lease does not mean that it is enforceable under Texas property law. If the tenant must break a lease and wants advice, call the Austin Tenants’ Council (ATC) or consult an attorney for more information.

vic
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 Posted: Thu Feb 22nd, 2007 01:47 pm
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Shhweetp82, your tenant is breaking a lease. You do not need to give any security deposit back and he is also liable for the rents until you have the property released as stated. So, you do not only not have to give the security deposit back but you can cash that rent check too.
Vicky

jam
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 Posted: Thu Feb 22nd, 2007 01:12 pm
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I had the same thing happen. My tenant backed out after giving me the deposit and signing the lease.  Can I keep the deposit

Shhweetp82
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 Posted: Wed Feb 21st, 2007 09:16 pm
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Here is part of the lease that he signed:

 

1. TERMS: RESIDENT agrees to pay in advance $1,295.00 per month on the 1ST  day of each month. This agreement shall commence on 1/13/2007 and continue; (check one)
A.__ until _______, ___ as a leasehold. Thereafter it shall become a month-to-month tenancy. If RESIDENT should move from the premises prior to the expiration of this time period, he shall be liable for all rent due until such time that the Residence is occupied by an OWNER approved paying RESIDENT and/or expiration of said time period, whichever is shorter.
B.   X_  until June 30th, 2007 on a month-to-month tenancy and until either party shall terminate this agreement by giving a written notice of intention to terminate at least 30 days prior to the date of termination.


3. SECURITY DEPOSITS: The total of the above deposits shall secure compliance with the terms and conditions of this agreement and shall be refunded to RESIDENT within 30 days after the premises have been completely vacated less any amount necessary to pay OWNER; a) any unpaid rent, b) cleaning costs, c) key replacement costs, d) cost for repair of damages to premises and/or common areas above ordinary wear and tear, and e) any other amount legally allowable under the terms of this agreement. A written accounting of said charges shall be presented to RESIDENT within 30  days of move-out. If deposits do not cover such costs and damages, the RESIDENT shall immediately pay said additional costs for damages to OWNER.

4. LATE CHARGE: A late fee of $15.00, (not to exceed 5 % of the monthly rent), shall be added and due for any payment of rent made after the 6th of the month. Any dishonored check shall be treated as unpaid rent, and subject to an additional fee of $25.00.


 

LandlordLaura
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 Posted: Wed Feb 21st, 2007 08:42 pm
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Read through the Landlord Tenant Laws for your State/County/City.  Laws vary from State to State...  Does your Lease Agreement allow you to use the Security Deposit for past-due rent?


I am not an Attorney, just a Landlord.  My understanding is that, usually, the Tenant is responsible for the Lease until you are able to "mitigate" damages.  Put the property back on the market.  When new Tenants move in to the property, you would stop charging rent to the Tenants who signed the Lease. 


Can you get a hold of the other set of Tenants who were interested?

Last edited on Wed Feb 21st, 2007 08:45 pm by LandlordLaura

Shhweetp82
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 Posted: Wed Feb 21st, 2007 06:14 pm
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A tenant signed our lease on 1/13/07 when we had another couple interested. The tenant gave us a security deposit check dated 1/13/07 and a 1st months rent check that was post dated. One week before the move in date the tenant backed out for money reasons. Since we held the property for him and he signed the lease, do we owe him the security deposit back?

 


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