Rental Basics in 55107>Question Details

Gigi, Home Owner in 55107

my property management company failed to send letter explaining why damage deposit wasn't returned. as the property owner can I be held

Asked by Gigi, 55107 Wed Jul 13, 2011

resposible been 3 months since tenant vacated property. damage to the property was in excess of the damage deposit. tennant is claiming they never receive a letter explaining why they didn't get damage deposit returned. since its been more than 21 days, am i as the property owner left holding the bag for full return of security deposit

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5
Gigi,

I can't see why you would be responsible for returning any of the security deposit if they did more damage then the amount of the security deposit -even if the notification wasn't received by the previous tenants within 21 days.

As others have stated, I'm not an attorney but if it were me I would send them a notification in writing now detailing exactly what the damages are and how much it will cost to fix them. I would include copies of any invoices and estimates of repairs demanding immediate payment or that I'll need to take them to small claims court.

Past experience tells me that they most likely won't pay me so I would need to file a claim with conciliation court and let the judge sort everything out.

Check out the Landlord Tenant Rights and Responsibilities information on the Minnesota Attorney General's website.

Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 14, 2011
Gigi,

If it turns out that the management company was in fact in the wrong, do everyone out there a favor and file a complaint with the commerce department against the licensed agent running the company. The first complaint won't result in much punishment but if they do it again they will start to get in trouble and eventually lose their license. It may sound mean but as licensees we need to be held to a higher standard in order to regain the trust of the public.

Cameron Piper
Coldwell Banker Burnet
Licensed MN Broker
Web Reference: http://CamPiper.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 14, 2011
Gigi, I would check yo who represented on the lease. If it was you, you might be liable, if it was the management company then they may be. Most management companies would be considered the landlord, and would be signing the lease. You may need an attorney, as I am not an attorney.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 14, 2011
Also understand the if the tenants left without a forwarding address the management company may not have been able to give this notice. But check with them to make sure they did try. If they failed to do so and you end up paying I would take them to small claims court.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 13, 2011
I would make the managment company prove that they complied with the required 21 days needed to mail the deposit back. Ultimately though I think you could be on the hook unless the lease was under the management companies name. This is a question for an attorney as you have potentially a lot to lose if the tenants make a claim.
Web Reference: http://www.lennyfrolov.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 13, 2011
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