Apartment Deposits

Hey there!

It’s Saturday night. I am filling in for Rachel tonight; and this is the first opportunity I’ve had to check in on the blog.

Just to follow up from my last post on Dec. 7th, Sears never responded to my e-mail asking about all of the complaints and concerns about its inaccurate or misleading ads.

But I’m going to move onto another common consumer question.
Tonight it comes from Olsen Veslasco. Here’s part of what he wrote:

“On October 28th I moved out from an apartment complex in the Heights.

Its been well over a month and I have yet to receive my security deposit refund, they are now claiming that they had to replace the carpet for the entire apartment, and various cleaning and repair charges to which they have no documentation to provide in proof of such replacement/repairs.

I spoke with them again this morning and they now state that it is “company policy” to replace the entire carpet?”

I consult with The People’s Lawyer, Richard Alderman on questions like these. He spells it out quite simply on his website.

The Texas Security Deposit Law requires a landlord to return a security deposit within 30 days after the tenant moves out or give a written accounting as to why the deposit (or part thereof) is being kept. It is important to remember that you are only entitled to have your deposit returned to you if you complied with your lease, left a forwarding address, and left the apartment in good condition. For example, if you move before your lease is up, you may not be entitled to the return of the deposit. A landlord can also deduct the costs of cleaning the apartment if you left it damaged. No damages, however, may be deducted for ordinary wear and tear.

That would seem to say that if Alexan Heights chooses to make it their policy to replace the carpet between every tenant, regardless of the damage to the carpet, the tenant should not be responsible for that cost.

If a landlord wrongfully keeps your security deposit, you may be entitled to three times your deposit, plus $100 and any court costs or attorney’s fees you incur. But yes, it will take a trip to Small Claims Court to collect the money you are due!

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