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Landlord not returning full damage deposit

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Landlord not returning full damage deposit

Postby pickeboots » Nov 16th, 2012, 7:07 pm

Hi,

We just moved out of our rental. We cleaned the place very well, and received an "excellent" on our move out report by the building manager. 2 weeks later, we still don't have our damage deposit, so we contact our previous landlords.
The landlords tell us that we are being deducted 300 dollars from our 650 dollar damage deposit, because they had to have the apartment professionally cleaned after our move out.

We were not told that we had to have the appt. professionally cleaned when we moved in (and have documentation to prove so).
We were given an "Excellence" on our move out report by the building manager (working for the landlord).
We were not given any opportunities to clean the appt. again ourselves, or hire our own cleaning agency. (plus the fact that the place should not have needed to be pro cleaned as we received excellence).

We really don't know what to do. Please, any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
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Re: Landlord not returning full damage deposit

Postby Captain Awesome » Nov 16th, 2012, 7:13 pm

Did you do a walk through with the manager together - when he marked the move-out report? Do you have a copy of it?
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Re: Landlord not returning full damage deposit

Postby pickeboots » Nov 16th, 2012, 7:16 pm

Yes, I walked through with the building manager, and have a copy of the report.
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Re: Landlord not returning full damage deposit

Postby Captain Awesome » Nov 16th, 2012, 7:25 pm

pickeboots wrote:Yes, I walked through with the building manager, and have a copy of the report.


If there are no comments about carpet condition, I'd use this report for residential arbitration process - this might take a while but you'll get your damage deposit back.
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Re: Landlord not returning full damage deposit

Postby pickeboots » Nov 16th, 2012, 7:27 pm

There are no comments about carpet condition.

Have you ever done this before? Do you know what happens, and any costs?
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Re: Landlord not returning full damage deposit

Postby Captain Awesome » Nov 16th, 2012, 7:35 pm

pickeboots wrote:Have you ever done this before? Do you know what happens, and any costs?


Visit http://www.rto.gov.bc.ca/ for details.

Basically, they'll arrange an arbitration process at no cost to you, it will take some time. They'll take a look at the report, tell the landlord to get stuffed and tell him to return your damage deposit in full because nothing on move out report says anything about bad condition of the carpet. Also, don't forget that landlords supposed to pay interest amount on damage deposits.
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Re: Landlord not returning full damage deposit

Postby Sn0man » Nov 16th, 2012, 7:43 pm

You aren't the first person to get stiffed on a damage deposit - trust me. Landlords for the most part are very much inclined to keep them for any reason (even a make-believe one).

But mention the residential tenancy branch and you may find you'll get it back in a hurry. Also make sure you have given your previous landlord your forwarding address.
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Re: Landlord not returning full damage deposit

Postby pickeboots » Nov 16th, 2012, 7:52 pm

I will.
It just seems so odd. We thought we had awesome landlords. We lived there for 3 1/2 years. No problems.
We cleaned the place so well because we treated it like our own, and we wanted to leave it super clean for them (as they are now trying to sell).

I just feel so sick thinking that I'll have to wait another who knows how long to get my money.
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Re: Landlord not returning full damage deposit

Postby gardengirl » Nov 16th, 2012, 8:24 pm

Does it mention anything about the move out/cleaning requirements on your lease document?
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Re: Landlord not returning full damage deposit

Postby WhatThe » Nov 16th, 2012, 8:33 pm

Ya for people like that I suggest scorched earth policy, Oh, I guess I said that out loud.

But yes CA has put you on the right track.
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Re: Landlord not returning full damage deposit

Postby pickeboots » Nov 16th, 2012, 9:21 pm

It doesn't say anything about move out and cleaning.
Even so, we cleaned it so well that we scored excellent on our move out report.

I checked the Rental Tenancy Act and it says that landlords are required to return the full deposit within 15 days of move out or fwd address...it says a portion can only be kept with tenants permission or landlord going to arbitration. It also says that it can only be kept if there is damage/dirtyness beyond reasonable wear and tear.

I feel a little better reading that, but still feel bad that we have to now wait.
Sigh.

Thanks for your support everyone.
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Re: Landlord not returning full damage deposit

Postby Captain Awesome » Nov 16th, 2012, 9:30 pm

Just tell your landlord (calmly) that you will be contacting Residential Tenancy Board and filing for arbitration and using the report signed by property management as grounds for claiming full deposit back. He might say "oh, whatever" and give it up in full - saving your time and efforts basically. Just be calm and determined about it, no drama. If he disagrees, just go ahead and file. So, it takes 2 weeks to get the deposit back and teach a landlord some manners, big whoop.
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Re: Landlord not returning full damage deposit

Postby emerald-star » Nov 17th, 2012, 8:08 pm

We had a similar situation so we met with them at the rental property in question and showed them both the move in and move out walkthrough documents. We explained that we were entitled to our damage deposit back and would be contacting the Residential Tenancy Board if they didn't comply. We received cash in hand and gave them a receipt.

I think many people count on people just rolling over and accepting loss. If you feel you are in the right, stand your ground! Good luck!
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