Security Deposit Refund not Rip-off!

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Walk through with a video camera was the right thing to do

This is a walk through of the apartment that I have rented for a little over 2 years in Shell Beach Central Coast California.
I called the landlord to come over to have a walk through with me. He refused to come over. He DID walk through the property 25 days prior to painting and cleaning. I was not home, he showed up unexpectedly, my son Quaid allowed him in. He tired to pull a quick one on me. He took photos at that time.
I am soooo glad I videoed the place before leaving. It was my evidence that I did not leave the place a real mess and I made every effort to my capabilities to make the apartment presentable to any potential future renters. The landlord rented the property out with in one week of my move out. I learned how a landlord can not only steal your deposit but really go after you for money they don’t deserve. I know times have been tough but stealing is not good. KEEP WATCHING…… I show you the whole process that I went through in order to make the security deposit situation fair and equitable for both sides.
<h2.Small Claims Court

After I moved out of the apartment I recieved a letter in the mail from the Landlord claiming I owed them $565.00 dollars. They gave me a
shocking overpriced list of repairs that they said they completed on the property. Including painting of $800.00 and cleaning. Changing light bulbs out at $10.
I did make sure that all the light bulbs worked before moving. I also cleaned and swept the carport, storage closet and the front porch patio area.
I WAS NOT A HAPPY CAMPER. I found it really hard to believe that these nice landlords were really up to gorging me for over $2500.00
So I filed a small claim court in order to get a little of my deposit back. I knew there were repairs that needed to be done. The carpet with the bleach spilled. The 2 closet doors needed to be repaired. These were not cheap items, but they certainly were not $1500 items. I priced everything out prior to moving and fully felt that I was entitled to a couple of hundred dollar refund or at least a break even.
By law a tenant is expected to return a apartment back into a reasonable condition. The landlord has to cosider normal wear and tear that is expected.
I did not have to paint the apartment, or clean it as clean as I did. My landlord was being unreasonable.
Once I filed the paperwork which cost a $50.00 filing fee. The courts expect you to try to resolve the case before going to court. So Yes, I did give the landlord a call and said LETS COMMUNICATE. They did not return the call. They only responded to me with a counter law suit saying I now owed them $3500 dollars. Claiming they replaced the carpet.
I did check with the present tenants on the property and they told me the landlord did not put new carpet in. Heads Up, SOME LANDLORDS DO LIE The landlord dyed the carpet where the bleach spot was, which costs $10.00 for the can and $25.00 to hire someone to apply it. The landlord was not a nice landlord anymore, he became greedy jerk trying to steal money from me and or ruin my credit. I was not going to stand for either one.

Process I took NOT to get RIPPED off by the landlord

1. Video rental prior to shutting the door for your walk though. (with or without the landlord) ****Make sure you state the date and time in the video!
2. Wait for refund of deposit in mail from landlord. Each state is different. It is required for the landlord to send a security deposit to the tenant within 30 days after moving out. If they decide to keep the security deposit then they need to send a letter stating what repairs and cost were completed. The landlord is accountable for the security deposit. If you feel ripped off like I was feeling, then you have the right to take them to small claims court and get your security deposit back. If the judge finds that the landlord is stealing your deposit BY LAW you will get twice as much back of what the deposit was in California and three times as much back in Colorado. The law does not like it when a landlord steals a security deposit. So, you as a Tenant need to make the PROCESS WORK FOR YOU and it will be worth your time and effort to do so. Sadly in my case not only did the landlord keep my whole deposit they gave me a bill for $565.

3. Call the court and get information. How to file a claim and cost. Ask for website or look it up on google.

4. Went to the courts website, filled out 4 pages. Printed 4 copies. One for me, the court and 2 for each landlord. (husband and wife)

5. Walked down to the court house and filed the paperwork. $30.00 to file $10.00 each for the serving papers.

6. Ask clerk how to look up any suits the Landlord may have had prior to me. I looked it up at the court house on their micro fish. They explained how to do this. It was easy to do…just tedious.

7. Called Landlord and try to settle between us before court.. I did make a hand written note for my file stating time and date and what message I left in case I needed to reference it in court.

8. Go to court.

9. The court gave us this option to do mediation prior to seeing the judge. We both agreed. We did the mediation right then and there in a separate room from the court. It was easy, the people (mediators) were nice.

10. Win! Win! We both won. I won…as far as I was concerned. Seeing the landlord eye to eye was a good thing for both of us. We settled with no one receiving any money.

I would have had the claim go in front of the judge but I did not want it to extend. I was leaving for Colorado the next day and did not want to spend any
more time on this. I cut my losses and went down the road. We both felt it was fair. I preserved my credit and integrity. The landlord was not allowed to steal from me. The landlord will think twice before they try to take someone else’s deposit without reason besides greed.We Can make the landlord accountable. I believe if more people took their landlord to court, word would get out that WE THE WORKERS ARE NOT GOING TO GET TAKEN ADVANTAGE OF so the landlords have to be straight with their behavior.
God willing, the law does work for the people…the people just have to take action and understand the law in order for the law to work.