Getting Security Deposit from Property Manager

3 Replies

We have had our home with a property manager for the past 6 years.  We told them in February that we were discontinuing our contract with them because we wanted to sell the property.  The tenant moved out 5/31.  We are out of state and I had my realtor go inspect the house she states that the house has not been maintained.  It smells of dog urine, there are claw marks on the window sills, roaches everywhere, soap scum/dirt in the tubs/sinks and tile floors, a broken window, and zero yard maintenance....etc, and she has sent me pictures of everything.  She wants me to tell the property management company to give me the pet deposit and security deposit so that I can use the funds to address these issues.  Can I do that?  If so, what do I say?

I really don't trust that the property manager is going to use the security deposit in my best interest... we are a military family and fixing to retire, the equity in the house was our nest egg for our 'forever' home :(

At least in Texas, you have 30 days to account for the security deposit to the tenant. It is possible that your property manager is still in the process of getting bids and having the repairs completed.

However, it is also possible that they haven't even gone to look at the property yet. I would absolutely contact your property manager, outline your concerns and ask them to turn the handling of the security deposit over to you. I would then follow that conversation up with something in writing that confirms whatever decisions are made.

You gave the PM notice of termination back in February but the tenant didn't move out until May 31st. When did you actually terminate with the PM?

When you terminated, the security deposit should have transferred to you. If it didn't, you screwed up and need to demand it back from the PM.

If the property was not maintained, as is the case, you can always sue the PM for failing to protect the property. In your case, I would do the following:

1. Get the funds from the PM immediately.

2. Repair/clean the property.

3. Charge the PM for neglect and let them know you will sue if they don't cover the damages that occurred under their management.

4. If they fail to pay, file in Small Claims court and file a complaint with your state commission.

Thanks.  We notified in February of our intent to terminate at the end of the lease, April 30th.  The tenant requested an extension to 5/31 because of the school year, and I naively authorized.  The PM still has the key and the security deposit. I had no idea how bad it was until the realtor went in.