Not sure how to handle this deposit situation. Seeking advice

6 Replies

My tenants moved out on August 25th. No notice was given. I happened to see the U-haul in the yard and went outside to speak with him. That's when I found out they were leaving. They paid for 3 months up front which was supposed to be through the end of Sept. They left behind furniture, tables, electronics and a few more things which I and my boyfriend had to remove. He keeps asking for his deposit and is either trying not to understand why he shouldn't get it back or does not want to understand. I'm in NC and this is my first rental and my first situation like this but I am not sure how to proceed. 

Looking forward to your responses.

@Quandra Adams I would contact a lawyer and find out the rules on your state. Seems like you have different issues, breach of contract, can you deduct the damages on the property. make sure to document everythIng. I would not Touch the deposit unless I was instructed by a legal professional only. Hopefully you took pictures of the apartment before you moved anything. Also I believe they stIll have rights to their personal items even if they owe rent. Sorry you have to go through this. Keep your head up an be very careful who you rent too.

I'm confused. They agreed to rent it through the month of September and they paid the rent in advance. Why does it matter if they moved out a month early or right on time? They didn't violate your agreement. In fact, you benefited from the situation because they paid you for three months but only occupied for two. You were aware they moved out August 25th and had an entire month to find a new tenant.

If the home was left in good condition, you should absolutely return the deposit. Since they didn't, you should clean/repair the unit, deduct the charges from their deposit, and then return the remainder.

If they turned the unit back over to you 30 days early, you should have done this back in August and then spent September trying to rent it again. You could have actually made more money that way.

I will contact an attorney tomorrow but how is this not a breach of contract since they are required to give a 30 day notice? Also, I put the unit on the market about a week ago. I spent the time after they left painting, cleaning and removing the furniture they left.


Originally posted by @Nathan G. :

I'm confused. They agreed to rent it through the month of September and they paid the rent in advance. Why does it matter if they moved out a month early or right on time? They didn't violate your agreement. In fact, you benefited from the situation because they paid you for three months but only occupied for two. You were aware they moved out August 25th and had an entire month to find a new tenant.

If the home was left in good condition, you should absolutely return the deposit. Since they didn't, you should clean/repair the unit, deduct the charges from their deposit, and then return the remainder.

If they turned the unit back over to you 30 days early, you should have done this back in August and then spent September trying to rent it again. You could have actually made more money that way.

@Quandra Adams does your lease specifically say they must give notice? Does state law?

Giving notice is required with a month-to-month lease but it may not be required with a longer-term lease. If you don't have something in writing, they may not be required to serve you notice.

If I'm understanding correctly,he moved out Aug 25 but paid rent until the end of September then he did give you a 30 day notice through giving back possession of the apartment and he paid you for that 30 day notice.

While his "notice" was not the traditional written form, you noticed he had moved out on Aug 25, which was more than 30days before his lease end. In this circumstance, you would apply security to damages and then refund the remainder.

Did you re-rent the unit before September ended? If so, you likely cannot double dip and would in theory owe him a refund for any days you were able to re-rent.

Did you send him an statement to show what you were deducting from security, and why? If not, you're lucky this individual has not sued you yet because you would be 100% in the wrong there.

Of course, follow your state laws, but I think you're in the wrong here if you are keeping his deposit, only because he didn't give you a written notice.