Tenancy Advice - Reclaiming Deposit

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Tenancy Problems - Reclaiming Deposit

Q: I moved out of a duplex i had been renting for 1 year about 6 months ago. My lanlord kept all of my security deposit($600) because he said the front room carpet had to be replaced and the walls repainted. (I would consider a couple stains and dirty walls normal wear and tear. Is that wrong?) New tenants moved in right after my departure and neither of the things he stated needed to be done were acuatlly done. (I still visit my neibors and asked the new tenants.) Am I being ripped off? Or can a lanlord keep my deposit for things he didnt even replace?
A: The landlord has 15 days from the end of the tenancy to claim against the security deposit. Otherwise, he can only withhold that amount from your security deposit that you agree in writing he can, or that amount an Arbitrator orders he can.
Some landlords do take advantage of renters by hanging on to all or part of the security deposit without going through the proper procedure. Some landlords will claim they are holding back the money for damages yet they never get around to using the money for that purpose. Tenants'rights groups will maintain that it is just a money grab, and another way that landlords rip off tenants.
If you didn't sign over your security deposit and there isn't an Arbitrator's order granting the landlord possession of the funds, and the landlord hasn't claimed against your deposit in accordance with the Act, then you should write him a letter requesting he return your deposit right away, and include a copy of section 38 of the Act.
Section 38 says: (1) Except as provided in subsection (3) or (4) (a), within 15 days after the later of (a) the date the tenancy ends, and (b) the date the landlord receives the tenant's forwarding address in writing, the landlord must do one of the following: (c) repay, as provided in subsection (8), any security deposit or pet damage deposit to the tenant with interest calculated in accordance with the regulations; (d) file an application for arbitration to make a claim against the security deposit or pet damage deposit.
Section 38(2) continues: Subsection (1) does not apply if the tenant's right to the return of a security deposit or a pet damage deposit has been extinguished under section 24 (1) [tenant fails to participate in start of tenancy inspection] or 36 (1) [tenant fails to participate in end of tenancy inspection].
Section 38(3) says: A landlord may retain from a security deposit or a pet damage deposit an amount that (a) an arbitrator has previously ordered the tenant to pay to the landlord, and (b) at the end of the tenancy remains unpaid.
Your landlord's particular attention will probably be drawn to section 38(6) which says: 'If a landlord does not comply with subsection (1), the landlord (a) may not make a claim against the security deposit or any pet damage deposit, and (b) must pay the tenant double the amount of the security deposit, pet damage deposit, or both, as applicable.?


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