Douglas Pope
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4 years ago
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Withholding last month's rent?

I have heard from several people that they routinely withhold their last month's rent with the idea that the property manager/landlord would apply the security deposit to the last month's rent and the tenant would be protected from abusive cleaning and maintenance deductions from the security deposit. I have been burned by an abusive landlord in this manner, but whitholding the last month's rent is against the lease, and there not legal. How often does this occur in the marketplace? Does it work? Does lead into a legal battle or generally do the two parties just go their separate ways?
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3 years ago
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People need to pay their rent on time, the land owner has bill's they need to pay as well. Quit being a ass hole, and keep a clean house.

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4 years ago
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Thank you to the wonderful "property managers" for their absurd self serving opinions. It is NOT "illegal", to not pay the last months rent. Furthermore, an eviction will NOT go on a credit record until it is adjudicated. What the so called property managers won't tell you is that it costs more to litigate an eviction then it does to allow the Tenant to consume the last months rent. In my experience, the majority of "property managers" are in reality imbecilic clowns who simply collect rent checks & screw every Tenant they can. In lieu of withholding the last month rent, one way to keep owners or their little "property managers" from stealing your deposit is this: 1. Notify them in writing that you have videotaped the entire property. Do this during your last week there. The day before the lease expires and the day before you move, call the owner or "property manager" that day, BEFORE you surrender the premises, & demand an on the spot inspection & on the spot refund in CASH! If you take their check, they will stop it in about 10 minutes. By refusing to surrender the premises, you are still legally a tenant & they will then have to spend a $1,000 + to evict you which usually takes 4 weeks in most states. If they file for eviction, you can counterclaim them by stating they had already examined the premises and you have cause to believe they were going to steal your deposit & thus your demand for your deposit regardless of the 30 days to return it stipulation. It's only fair & reasonable in this event when the property has been inspected & there is no damage to demand your deposit back in cash on the spot. Finally, by videotaping the complete premises (should take at least 20 minutes to do it thoroughly), you can notify the owner, etc, that you have an exhibit that there are no damages to the premises & that if that they do not refund 100% of your deposit, you will take THEM to small claims court for damages/costs + treble damages if the state allows it, as in CA!
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4 years ago
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To j moris:

You are not giving people sound legal advice.

Also, having been a tenant and a landlord (I am actually currently renting the home I am living in as I have rented out my personal home due to not being able to sell it) I know that landlords do NOT make much money on their properties unless they own the property out right(no loans/liens) and if the properties do not require major maintenance. For example, having to replace a heating and air until can cost $4,000 or more. If the rent is say...$800/month, the landlord will eat 5 months worth of your rent right there. You also have to include taxes and insurance in the cost of owning that home. If you owe money on the house, how much do you think the landlord is making monthly?
I have had a tenant move out and not pay last months rent and it almost caused me to lose the house to foreclosure. It took a month to get it rented (plus the cost of paint/carpet and repairs) which put me 2 months behind in the money that I would use to pay the mortgage.
Just some thoughts from my perspective.

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4 years ago
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Another IMBICILIC trailer trash tenant trying to get away with a free month. You are wrong on several counts. Not all communities have the same landlord-tenant rules/laws. Try doing things according to the law and maybe your landlord will also. For starters, why would you move in if the place is dirty or in disrepair??? If the landlord shows it as a dump, why would you expect he will be better than a slumlord?? If you move into a clean and well kept unit, you should leave it as a clean and wellkept unit. In that scenario the landlord would be a fool to keep any part of the deposit. Of course, greedy disrespectful conivers live on both sides of this street. You must be one of them.

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4 years ago
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Hiya mikey - the only trash talking mongoloid here is you. I never lived in a trailer park, but, are you above people who live in trailer parks? What an imbecile YOU are. HAHAHAHA Now about my post dumb a*** - consuming the last month is NOT getting a "free month IDIOT!!!! It only insures that the 99% of "property managers" who are nothing but SLIMEBALLS, will not rip you off. And it is not a criminal act. It is a civil matter. CYA. Go get help....Try to ask your mommy why she left the cord wrapped around your wormy neck when you were born.

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1 year ago
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You are clearly a clown who doe's not pay your bills.

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4 years ago
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I have been a tenant and now I have a rental myself. In California is it illegal for a tenant to not pay the last month's rent. I have this stated in the lease the tenant signs and I tell them when we go over the lease together at the signing so they understand.

If they don't pay, they get a "three day pay or quit" notice (from my property manager) otherwise, the eviction process starts immediately and this will hit their credit report. I warn them about this at the lease signing. Good credit is your best friend !

The landlord, though, also has responsibilities. I do a walk through with the tenant at the end of the lease and note what might need fixing so they have a chance to fix anything needed. Then a final walk through when they leave and the place is empty (easier to see everything then). If I withhold anything from the security deposit, I have to notify them in writing, a detailed, dollar amount listing of what and why money is being taken from the security deposit. I have three weeks to do that. I always include photos, and I get professional estimates included. The two times I withheld money, it went for the repairs -- believe me, nothing goes into the landlord's pocket if the landlord does get the repairs done.

If you, a tenant, don't agree with the items listed in the letter, go to small claims court. If you have photos and proof that you did not damage the property, then you can recoup any money withheld. If you have damaged something, just know you'll have to pay for it.

The key is to communicate with the landlord. Follow up any phone calls you make to the landlord w/ emails so you have a written record. Be friendly and nice.

I tell my tenants that they are living in the house now, not me. I want them safe, comfortable and happy. It's their home, and they should want to have it clean and in good repair. They do their part, by paying rent and taking daily care of the house; I do my part, like fixing plumbing or leaky roofs, paying the mortgage and taxes.

I've only gone to court once. I won. I had proof and photos, she had lies and even confused the judge.

First line of defense w/ a landlord when you give notice, is ask for that walk through and do it with a camera !

Good Luck.
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2 years ago
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OMG. Best landlord ever. If I lived in your area, I'd be DYING to have one of your apartments.

This is the exact response I'd want from my landlord and the exact clarity I want.

As is, my last landord, I stiffed her out of the last months of rent. The roof is falling apart (literally, there are concrete peices falling off onto the sidewalk, I have pictures) & she STILL hasn't repaired the public ceiling (despite calling the NET Office on her. This collapsed back on April 23rd. It is now September 15th. Still no repair done).

I haven't called her about the ceiling since April and learned from that time not to bother. The former next door neighbour used to call her EVERY DAY to let her know what needed to be repaired. The landlady actually TOLD me she ignored said neighbour and assumed she was crazy because she called everyday. So when I waited 3 days to call the landlady to find out why the ceiling had yet to be fixed, she said "Oh...well...I thought everything was fixed...I mean, you didn't call me, so I assumed everything was okay."

If I call her to ask WHY something wasn't repaired, she pretends she's exasperated/confused and goes, "Oh, well, I don't know where Dave is. I'll...I'll definitely have to call him." (Dave being the repair guy) Which I don't get. My boss knows where I am when I am working for him. If I'm not doing my job, I'm fired. No questions asked.

Slumlords suck. I don't know if she's going to take me to court or not; if she does, I have photos showing the damage on the building. I'm fine with paying the last month's rent, but I don't have any money now. I spent it towards the new place already.

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4 years ago
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As a property manager here is the deal. Your rental contract governs. You do not have the right to decide to apply the security deposit to the last months rent. The security deposit is to protect the landlord from abusive tenants who leave the place a mess.

Short version. Last month, on the 1st the rent is due, tenant has given 30 day notice moving at end of month. Tenant does not pay rent on the "I am not paying rent so the land lord will deduct it and I will not get stuck with him charging me damages" theory. On the 2nd of the month I deliver a 3 day notice to quick (eviction notice) on the 6th of the month we file court papers, report to credit agencies etc.

Your remedy for an "abusive" landlord is to sue them for the security deposit withheld. The landlord has a legal right to deduct damages (not fair wear and tear) and actual cleaning cost (if it did not look like it did the day you moved in when you moved out expect deductions). The land lord gave you an accounting and receipts (law in some states) itemizing what the charges are. If you think the charges are unreasonable, then sue in small claims court. The self help remedy of withholding the last months rent if your rental agreement does not specifies the monies held (ie it does not provide for payment of first and last months rent up front) is not legal and will affect your credit. Note if you have an eviction(case filed) many landlords will not rent to you.

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Brad Stern
Rental Housing Professional
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4 years ago
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You are certainly right; withholding last month rent, with the expectation of it being applied to the security deposit is illegal. Unless of course, both parties agree to this out of convenience; normally a good relationship between landlord and tenant is required for this to work.

To protect your interests, play by the rules, and take plenty of pictures prior to surrendering the dwelling. This will help contest any inappropriate charges levied against your security deposit.
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4 years ago
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If the apartment is rent stabilized;
* Contain 6 or more units;
* Were built before 1974;
* Are not co-ops or condos;
then the lease rider attached to the lease prohibits two month's rent withheld.

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Colleen Corgan
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4 years ago
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Somebody recently told me about the practice of withholding the last month's rent in lieu of the property manager just taking it from the security deposit. I had never heard of that before, but I HAVE heard of people who don't pay their last month's rent having it go on their credit score.

I think we all have been burned by a landlord who withheld more of the security deposit than thought fair, but not paying your last month's rent will do more damage to you than good.

What I have learned from that is to document your property well in advance (photos, thorough notes) of your move in, as well as when you are moving out. That way, you can dispute claims of damage accurately and with proof.

Brad is right, though. It's always easier to "play by the rules" than hope that your landlord won't care enough to go after you, because most of them will.

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3 years ago
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Well you could be like the last tenant I had - she withheld the last months rent, and left the house with $4000 worth of damages. Now she is being sued for the amount of the difference and the damages, and punitive damages. If everything goes the way I hope. She will have her salary garnished until I am paid in full. The reason for the security deposit is to SECURE the property from damages. If she had paid the last rent, the security deposit would have covered the damages. Simple as that

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Andrew P
Home Seller
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4 years ago
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I own properties and have a property manager. My understanding is that it works similar to a credit card. We charge the tenant for the rent and if the tenant doesn't pay it, it bounces and hurts their credit. If it bounces, then the property manager takes the tenant to court. The security deposit is needed in some case. For instance, last year one of my tenants put a 14 inch hole in a door. Another tenant put an 8 inch gash in the drier. For blinds and cleaning supplies, I just 'eat it'. For big things like doors and driers, it comes out of the security deposit.

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3 years ago
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Most states have landlord/tenant laws which govern what can be written into a lease. It is not legal to demand your security deposit refunded"on the spot". Depending on the state, the landlord is given anywhere from 14-31 days to return you deposit, along with a statement listing any charges. If you agreed in contract to not withold last month's rent, you are contractually obligated to pay and wait for the return of your s.d. Your landlord IS entitled to place your non-payment of rent on your credit history.

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3 years ago
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You cannot legaly withhold the last months rent. There are laws to protect the tenant to be sure you are treated fairly with the return of your deposit. You will have a better case if you pay your last months rent and then if you are not satisfied with the move out then you can sue the landlord.

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Trella Pardis
Trella Pardis
Browsing Housing
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3 years ago
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PLEASE DON'T HAVE A MISTAKE OF RENTING 2050 LINDA FLORA DRIVE, LA CA 90077... I KNOW SOMEONE THAT RENTED THIS PLACE AND THE OWNER WITHHELD THEIR SECURITY DEPOSIT FOR MORE THAN 20 DAYS AND ON TOP OF IT DEDUCTED SO MANY BS FEES...VERY DIFFICULT PEOPLE TO DEAL WITH..BE BEWARE!!!
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3 years ago
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Wow. 20 days? usually sec deposit is held for 30 days, to pay not only for damages but also for unpaid bills etc. this must be an easy going land lord. Yes, there are difficult land lords but there are also many difficult tenants. You just not gonna know about them but there are many.

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sbLA
Browsing Housing
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2 years ago
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People that are good tenants don't deserve to be punished or pay for a bad tenant the next door downs abuse of the building. It is the landlords responsibility to take it from that person that is not paying their rent, not the tenant who pays on time every month and doesn't make a mess. Also security deposit is not held for 30 days, it has to be returned before the end of 30 days, any longer than that and a tenant can sue for damages.

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2 years ago
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I was in a similar situation in NC. The rental was surrendered in the same condition that it was when I moved in. Rent was always paid on time or even early and walls were even painted in the suggested color of the landlord. There were still rediculous deductions and charges when we moved. Thankfully we played it smart and took pictures of all the rooms in the house the day of our move. We actually sued the landlord for the return of the security deposit, and WON.The landlord was required to return the security deposit as well as court fees and any interest that the deposit may have accrued in the 3 months after our move out date. The security deposit was placed in an escrow type of account when we moved in. Hope this helps.
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2 years ago
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for all u renters out there DO NOT RENT ANY OF THESE PROPERTIES/ 316 holtby road its been contemned it looks good but there are electrical problems,also middle dwelling 316 A holtby rd is condemned and the back apartment 316 1/2 holtby rd is also condemned if anyone tells you its not call the city of bakersfield code inforcement they are the only ones who can tell you if it stiill condemne they are the ones that condemned them.thats bakersfield california 93304
.

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susan hallett
Browsing Housing
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2 years ago
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Hi I am from Glace Bay,n.s. & i wish i would have held back last months rent legal or not,i lived in a half a company house for more than 3 years not because i liked it but i could'nt find what i was looking for,when i moved in the first of Sept i was told that the house was all done over, insulated,new floors,walls,painted,& the landlord would plow/shovel the driveway, & mow the lawn he mowed the lawn which he did for the first month but they NEVER PLOWED/SHOVEL THE DRIVEWAY OR SHOVELED THE WALKWAYS not even once & this was in the lease,there was a fence around the property it blew over in the winter with the high winds,the ugly screen door blew off my first winter because it was a old second hand screen door not even screwed into the door frame,the last month i was there the landlord actually showed up mowed the lawn,hauled the fence that blew down away,told me that they put mice poison down, (oh yes for the last year i lived there the house was infested with mice)i was told that i would be getting my deposit back & it turned out that they did'nt put out mice poison that they where planning on doing that at the end of the month for the new tenants!so my sick father took care of the mouse problem!I never received my damage deposit because of the door that blew off & i am an excellent tenant i keep my home spotless & have pics & people to prove it, never short or missed a months rent in my life & they kept 275.00 dollars on me! that is illegal or it should be,they are getting it back in spades the new tenants are a nightmare & that is justice or what i call karma,i am finnally in a beautiful 3bdrm bunglow with a full basement with a landlord that actually knows how to be a landlord but when the time comes & i move out i will be holding back that last months rent.We need new laws to protect the few good tenants that still exsist.Good Luck & if someone does read this i would suggest you take pics of everything when you do your walk through with the landlord.

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3 years ago
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what time can see it today or night what time work for you

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3 years ago
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In fact, last months rent is one of few laws to protect landlords from tennants that skip out without notice in the last month. If you have been a a good tennant and have not missed a payment and notify within 30 days that you are moving most landlords will apply it to that last month. Others are supposed to return it after you have vacated the premises. Do NOT be even a day late as this is a legal way for landlord to say you renewed your lease. security deposit is just that, for damages only. The land lord is to bring sit for rent. As a landlord, i have been fair and just to all my tenants. If all laws are followed. you should not have a problem of ot comes to a court case

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3 years ago
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I have heard if you Put the last months rent into a escrow account threw the court and then make a list of everything that was wrong with the property to the court. they will then not let the landlord have the rent until the issues are solved. You can also do this while you live in a rental property if you have a not so good landlord.

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Elzbet Whitefire
Browsing Housing
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1 year ago
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OK here is what I tell my kids when they rent a place. On the day you move in video the entire place. walls, bathroom, under sinks, inside cabinets, carpets, exterior, everything. Make sure you verbally express and physically indicate any damage that is there on the first day, especially if it seems small and trivial (nail holes in walls, missing grout. Property owners like to charge by the nail hole). Place the video in a file on your computer and then e-mail it to yourself and leave the e-mail unopened in a file in your mailbox. Live in the place and treat it as if you own it or even better as if i own it. When you are ready to leave, clean the place like I would clean it and then video tape everything again just like the first time. Again send yourself the file and leave it alone till you find out if your getting your deposit back.
In between make requests for maintenance via e-mail whenever possible and save the e-mails. If you have to call for work orders then record the date and time of the call, the name of the person you spoke to and what specifically the problem was. If they send a repair man get his name, the name of the company and what specifically he/she did to repair the problem.
If the landlord refuses to return the deposit in a timely manner and court becomes an necessity you will have all of the proof that you need to show that you did the right thing and maintained the property in a reasonable condition and it was or wasn't the result of a major normal wear and tear issue that caused damage to the property.
Likewise if a water main ruptures and a landlord refuses to repair it for an extended time record this as well and request that any damage to your personal possession caused by their negligence is considered in the settlement for the deposit.
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Miryam Israel
Looking to Rent
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11 months ago
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Thank you Elzbet. That is very good advice.
Miryam

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3 years ago
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If the house is not a legal rental when you sign the lease, is the lease still good? And I have paided well before the first Evey month for over a year and there is nothing wrong in the house, and I dont trust that the land lord will refund my security, can I live out the last months security. New York State. Thanks

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