Property manager keeping deposit

Asked by brian.wills, Stockton, CA Tue Jun 12, 2012

The PM is keeping my deposit on the house i rented for a month because she said the AC unit wasnt working . I went to the house and recorded the AC working perfectly. The house was mine a month ago. I had to short sale it and the new owners rented it back to me for a month. How/Where do i go to complain about this and how do i get my money. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the house . Before the short sale was finalized , they had a inspector come in and do his thing . Everything came out with flying colors. Now they are saying there is something wrong which is BS ! i dont want to get lawyers involved if i dont have to.

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John Arendsen, Agent, Leucadia, CA
Tue Jun 12, 2012
If it were me I'd find out if the PM is the licensee and file a complaint. If she's not find out who her broker is and tell them that you intend to file a complaint if your deposit is not refunded. But I certainly wouldn't go to the expense of hiring an attorney for a matter that will cost you several times more than your deposit.
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Donna Hodge, Agent, Henderson, NV
Tue Jun 12, 2012
Hi Brian,

We are out of your area, but we sure know about A/C. It can break at any moment, so you should not be responsible, unless it specifically states it is in your rental agreement. The the A/C conking can be so disastrous to people in our climate, we urge every single purchaser to obtain a Home Warranty, paid by the buyer or seller, it s doesn't matter, with A/C coverage. Do you remember if the purchaser has a home warranty with A/C coverage?

However, that is all a moot point if you say the A/C is working fine. Try to make an appointment with the property manager so that both of you can go to the house together and operate the system. It is possible that she did not know how to operate it properly when she did her walk-through. What does your agent who represented you in the sale say? He/she should be your first resource for help. Secondly, the local real estate board may be of help if you make a written complaint. Your third avenue of complaint is the state Real Estate Commission. Keep a written record of all contacts, and date and time them.

Mike Pristow, Donna Hodge & Associates
Keller Williams Realty
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Tim Moore, Agent, Kitty Hawk, NC
Tue Jun 12, 2012
You might have to get a lawyer involved if only to send someone a letter. Why would anyone hold s deposit because an ac broke? Or what if the frig broke or the light bulbs burnt out or the water heater stopped working? That is normal wear and tear and even though you had an inspection things can break the next day. Unless they say you did something to abuse or misuse the ac I don't see where they have a claim to your deposit. Maybe small claims court is an answer.

Just another reason I don't like preoccupancy and don't like rent backs.
0 votes
Rocky G.H. H…, Agent, Ripon, CA
Tue Jun 12, 2012
Review the rental agreement closely and contact the property manager to complain. Typically, it is not the responsibility of the tenant to make repairs to the homes they're renting unless otherwise agreed in writing. The next step would be to contact a lawyer to seek legal advice. It might be a trip to small claims court.

Good luck,


Rocky G.H. Hawrysz, Realtor
Prudential California Realty
(209) 444-6610 – Direct
License No. 01468373

“Without Question, Committed to Your Success!"
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