Tenants claiming they paid a deposit

6 Replies

I purchased a house with existing tenants. They were also existing when the previous owner purchased the property in foreclosure. I have mine and the previous owners leases that say there was no deposit paid and both tenants signed them. I also have a document stating the previous owner did not receive a deposit when he purchased the property. The tenants have moved at my request and of course are angry. Now they are claiming they paid a deposit and have not provided proof despite many requests. The extensive damage done to the property while they lived there far exceeds any deposit they claim. Should I still provide an itemized list of the damages? I'm not expecting to ever receive any sort of payment from them, but am concerned about them coming after me for this deposit they are claiming.

@Heidi M.  

It sounds like this property has a convoluted history at best. There may or may not have been a deposit. I would provide an itemized list of damage done to the property complete with pictures. Until they can provide proof of deposit (or a lease agreement that includes a deposit), I would send them the list via certified mail. If they decide to get ugly and fight you on this matter, you will at least have proof that you attempted to comply with standard landlord guidelines.

I am so sorry you have to deal with this!

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I'd send them an itemized statement/bill for the damages.  Hopefully you have receipts and invoices and you didn't do the work yourself.  Let them figure out that even if there was a deposit, they still owe you money.  

You need to make sure there was no deposit because if the previous owner goes to court and say he collected a deposit you might have to return their deposit.

Joe Gore

Hi @Heidi M.  You are in a difficult situation, and as others have said, document and send certified mail.  Best advice I can give is document every conversation and date/time.  Do everything In your power to provide them an itemized list and show that no deposit was received and that full payment is expected in 30 days.

As for the damages, you maybe able to collect on your landlord insurance policy.  if they damaged the property they most likely will not pay, but you ding their credit and send it to collections.  You should also double check any loan documents to ensure a deposit was not transferred as part of the sale just to cover yourself.

Good luck, and have an excellent future!