Getting back your rental deposits

The Situation – leaving a rental

Let’s talk about a common legal situation. You are moving out of a rental unit. You clean the residence: sweep, mop, dust and remove all trash. Might even shampoo the carpets and clean the window coverings. Spotless. As you return the keys, you are informed they can not return any rent, cleaning or pet deposits until after the owner or manager inspects the unit.

Days or even weeks go by – you need the money. To move, you borrowed from friends and family the deposits for a new pace. You need your deposits back to repay the loans. You need your deposits. After a several phone calls and left messages, you finally receive a call or letter telling you all your deposits have been forfeited because you left trash in the unit. The carpet has been destroyed and will have to be replaced. At your expense.

You call to discuss it but they will not budge, you are out hundreds or maybe thousands of dollars. At a loss, you feel wronged – cheated – defeated. To call a lawyer would cost hundreds of dollars you don’t have. Do you just give up? The owners might just hope you do.

Responding with LegalShield

However, with a LegalShield membership, you have access to a lawyer at the tap of a button on your cellphone. You open the app, request a consult, enter the information you have and press submit. With in a few business hours, you will receive a call from a licensed attorney that understands rental laws in your state. This call, this consultation will happen without you worrying about giving a credit card number to find out what your rights are.

Some of the things the attorney could discuss with you is the age of the carpet. Most states place a lite limit on carpet and some other floorings. A landlord can not make you pay to replace carpet that exceeds this age limit. It varies from state to state – but somewhere between 5 to 8 years is common.

What if you were sent pictures of the house full of trash. Except those pictures are not even of your rental. Or if could be pictures from a previous tenant the owner/manager is using again to keep your money. Yes this happens sometimes.

Preventing the problems in advance

However, if you back up one step – you know you are moving out soon. Before you even notify the landlord you are canceling your lease renewal, you use your legal shield membership to discuss with an attorney the steps. By involving a legal advisor early on, they can provide instructions on how to first notify the owner / manager, your obligations on cleaning/restoring the property and most importantly how to document it such as pictures and videos.

Then, when you get the deposit denial letter – your LegalShield attorney can assist you. One recovered rental deposit could pay for your legal shield membership for many years.

If you already have a PPLSI membership but do not have LegalShield – please contact your affiliate to sign up. If you are not already a member of any LegalShield membership – what are you waiting on? Contact me today for addition details and enrollment information.