If I sent my landlord a text giving him 30-day notice of vacancy, can he take my deposit? 11 Answers as of October 25, 2012

My landlord and I communicate through text I gave him 30-day notice via text that we were not renewing our lease and now that the 30 days are near. He is saying we did not give him notice even though he acknowledged via text that he received the initial text via another text. Can he withhold my security in this situation?

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Universal Law Group, Inc. | Francis John Cowhig
It will depend on your lease. If your lease is for a definite time period and expires on a definite date, then, as long as you move out prior to expiration of the lease, your landlord may not be able to retain your deposit. However, a lot will depend on the language in the lease. I suggest that you contact an attorney for a face-to-face consultation and give him/her all of the facts surrounding your situation. He/she would then be in a better position to analyze your case and advise you of your options.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 10/25/2012
Law Offices of Gerald A. Bagazinski
Law Offices of Gerald A. Bagazinski | Gerald A. Bagazinski
I think you gave him written notice and communicated it electronically. He acknowledged the written communication.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 10/24/2012
Sultan Law Office | Gregory Sultan
In Illinois, if he has acknowledged the notice you gave him in the same format- ie texting, they no, he can't. But You would have had to have your 30 day notice otherwise comply with the requirements of giving the notice.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 10/24/2012
Law Offices of Mark West
Law Offices of Mark West | Mark West
In California, the lease itself is the notice. Since you state the end of the lease is approaching, you have no duty to give notice. However, if you gave a security deposit, the landlord would be entitled to retain it if there was any rent unpaid and owed and/or for any repairs (over and above repairs for normal wear and tear) of damage caused by you. You should request a walk through with the landlord before the end of the lease (at least a week) to go through and make sure there are no things the landlord is claiming for which you will have to pay. This will give you the chance to fix them yourself or at least be aware he is going to try to charge you. He has a certain amount of time according to law to send you an itemized list after you move out and receipts for repairs etc.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 10/24/2012
Fidelity National Title Insurance Company
Fidelity National Title Insurance Company | Andrew Capelli
You need to look to your lease. Despite the fact you and your landlord informally communicate through texting, if your lease specifically states notice of termination must be in writing, a text, unfortunately, does not constitute "writing." It's certainly not a formal notice. Is your landlord being a jerk? Probably. Is he within his legal bounds to withhold your deposit? Again, you have to look to your lease, but I suspect he might be.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 10/24/2012
    The Law Offices of Robert W. Bellamy
    The Law Offices of Robert W. Bellamy | Robert W. Bellamy
    Here is the law on security deposit returns for residential property Section 35-9A-201 Security deposits; prepaid rent. (a) A landlord may not demand or receive money as security, in an amount in excess of one month's periodic rent, except for pets, changes to the premises, or increased liability risks to the landlord or premises, for tenant's obligations under a rental agreement. (b) Upon termination of the tenancy, money held by the landlord as security may be applied to the payment of accrued rent and the amount of damages that the landlord has suffered by reason of the tenant's noncompliance with Section 35-9A-301 all as itemized by the landlord in a written notice delivered to the tenant together with the amount due 35 days after termination of the tenancy and delivery of possession. (c) If the landlord does not refund the entire deposit, the landlord, within the 35-day period, shall provide the tenant an itemized list of amounts withheld. (d) Upon vacating the premises, the tenant shall provide to the landlord a valid forwarding address, in writing, to which the deposit or itemized accounting, or both, may be mailed. If the tenant fails to provide a valid forwarding address, the landlord shall mail, by first class mail, the deposit or itemized accounting, or both, to the last known address of the tenant or, if none, to the tenant at the address of the property. Any deposit unclaimed by the tenant as well as any check outstanding shall be forfeited by the tenant after a period of 180 days. (e) The landlord's mailing by first class mail to the address provided in writing by the tenant, within 35 days of the refund or itemized accounting, or both, is sufficient compliance with this chapter. (f) If the landlord fails to mail a timely refund or accounting within the 35-day period, the landlord shall pay the tenant double the amount of the tenant's original deposit. (g) This section does not preclude the landlord or tenant from recovering other damages to which the landlord or tenant may be entitled. (h) The holder of the landlord's interest in the premises at the time of the termination of the tenancy is bound by this section.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 10/24/2012
    Powell Potter PLLC
    Powell Potter PLLC | Shawn Potter
    The landlord must return the tenant's deposit within thirty days after the tenancy ends (the tenant moves), or within fifteen days after the landlord's receipt of the tenant's new address, whichever is later. If the landlord keeps the deposit, he/she has to detail all of the expenses allowed by law or under the lease, deduct them from the deposit, and then refund the difference to the tenant. Landlords may keep a deposit to compensate for unpaid rent, damages beyond reasonable wear and tear, cleaning, and other costs provided for in the lease.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 10/24/2012
    Law Office of Bijal Jani | Bijal Jani
    Although a more formal written letter should have been done in these circumstances, if the landlord acknowledged receiving your written text and you have proof of the text, then it may be used in small claims court to get your deposit back.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 10/24/2012
    Winnick Ruben Hoffnung Peabody & Mendel, LLC | Daniel N. Hoffnung
    I would need to see the lease Is the term expired? Why do you need to give 30 day notice? In general, if you have not breached the terms of the lease, the landlord must return the security If you send a demand in writing, landlord has 30 days to respond If you do not get your money, you can bring the landlord to housing court If you prevail, you may be entitled to double damages.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 10/24/2012
    Olson Law Firm | Edward M Olson
    Michigan has a Security Deposit Act which applies to residential leases. The Act contains a number of requirements that go back and forth (like a ping pong game). First, the tenant must give the landlord written notice of your forwarding address. If the tenant does not give written notice then the landlord can do whatever he wants with the deposit. If the tenant gives notice, then the landlord must give the tenant a written notice of all the charges against the security deposit (and refund the balance) within 30 days of moving out. If the landlord does not provide the notice of charges on time, then the landlord cannot keep any part of the security deposit. If the landlord gives the notice of charges, the tenant has (I think it is 14 days) to "object" to the charges, in writing. If the tenant does not "object", then the tenant has accepted the charges. If the tenant objects to the charges, the landlord can either return the funds, in accordance with the tenant's letter or file suit in district court and ask the judge to rule on which charges are proper. If the landlord does not follow the law. Then, the tenant may sue and get double the amount of the unstructured security deposit and court costs and attorney's fees. So, send your written notices.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 10/24/2012
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    Read your lease/rental agreement. I will bet it states notice, via mail, in writing to a stated address. As you have proof of actual notice you should prevail. You have just provided the landlord with a bit of additional ammunition, which was not wise.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 10/24/2012
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