Can my landlord keep my security deposit if we had a house fire on December 2014? 7 Answers as of April 09, 2015

The fire started at the electrical outlet in my son's bedroom. It destroyed his bedroom and the rest of the house just suffered smoke damage. The fire report from the fire department was ruled undetermined cause. There is still an investigation going on through our landlord’s insurance company. Our landlord originally told us he would give us back our full deposit because it wasn't our fault. He let us out of the lease because the house was uninhabitable. When we asked for our deposit back he said no. He felt he didn't need to give it to us because of his deductible and the depreciation of his home that he was having to pay for. Prior to the fire the house was in excellent condition. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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Law Offices of John F. Nicholson
Law Offices of John F. Nicholson | John F. Nicholson
File in small claims court to get your deposit back.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/9/2015
Law Office of Jeffrey T. Reed | Jeffrey T. Reed
See what the investigation turns up and take him to small claims court if it wasn't your fault!
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/9/2015
Law Offices of George H. Shers | George H. Shers
For him to legally withhold any money,you have to been at fault for the damage; it is just the same as whether you have to pay for a hole in the wall. If you caused the hole, you pay for it, but if the ceiling falls down because it became water logged from the rain, that is not your fault and you do not have to pay. Your landlord could be hit with a penalty for not paying you the money within 21 days of your moving out.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/9/2015
Law Office of James A. Anton | James Anton
If he does not return it you can sue for it.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/8/2015
Dessy & Dessy, a Professional Corporation | Ronald D. Dessy
The landlord cannot charge the tenants deposit for damages suffered by reason of an electrical fire of undetermined cause. Are you bleed, the landlord should have paid your relocation costs pending repair of the apartment.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/8/2015
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