RHOL.COM
Rental Housing On Line
The Internet's comprehensive rental property location
 
Home  Join Now Contact Us 1st Time User Contents Why Join About Us Love Letters
Tenants Screening Landlord Training Public Forums Rental Listings Property Listings Forms & Agreements RHOL Member
 
Goto: Forum List > Landlord Tenant Law > Returned keys and renters rights New Topic | Search  
Returned keys and renters rights
Posted by: Adam
Date: August 12, 2006 05:15:32 AM

Hi everyone, was wondering if I could get some advice. I just left an apartment at the beginning of the month, but my roommate forgot to return the keys. Now my landlord is claiming that we have to pay for every day that we hadn't turned in the keys b/c he didn't know whether we were there or not. Here's the thing: No where in our lease does it mention that we have to return the keys as part of the termination of our rental agreement. It does say, however, that we have to obtain permission from the landlord to continue living there past the end of our year lease. Our landlord knew that we were leaving at the end of our lease (we had told him on more than one occassion that we weren't living there beyond the lease), so he definitely knew that we weren't planning on staying. I've been trying to find any information that backs up his claim, and the closest thing I could find to addressing the situation was this excerpt from the California Tenants guide found here (http://www.dca.ca.gov/legal/landlordbook/): " A payment that is a security deposit cannot be “nonrefundable.”84 However, when you move out of the rental, the law allows the landlord to keep part or all of the security deposit in any one or more of the following situations: ... You fail to restore personal property (such as keys or furniture), other than because of normal wear and tear." But the amount he can keep for keys not returned is equal to the cost of replacing the keys in this instance, right? Anyway, if anyone's got some insights on this, please let me know, as he's claiming that we owe him $800+ for the month because of the non-returned keys. Thanks in advance for any help!
Reply To This Message | Quote This Message | Report This Message
Re: Returned keys and renters rights
Posted by: Ed
Date: August 12, 2006 05:56:39 AM

He's blowing smoke and can claim anything he wants. Did he call you to request the keys? Did you call him to request your deposit? How long has it been since you moved out? Did he do a walk through with you before you moved out - he's required to offer this before you move. The landlord has 21 days to give you an itemized list of deductions from the deposit. On day 22, sue him in small claims court for the return of your deposit. He shouldn't get more than the cost of the keys and I wouldn't think of deducting from a deposit for that. If he didn't know you were leaving that's one thing, but you said he knew. For future reference, make sure to send the landlord a letter indicating the date you will move (keep a copy) in the future to prevent this problem.
Reply To This Message | Quote This Message | Report This Message
Re: Returned keys and renters rights
Posted by: Adam
Date: August 12, 2006 06:39:48 AM

He never called to request the keys. I tried calling him several times in the last three days, left messages, and he never returned my call until I called him from a different phone (I suspected that he was avoiding my number), at which point he answered. He's claiming that the 21 days starts today, b/c that's when he's charging rent until. I definitely told him on multiple occasions that we were leaving at the end of our lease, so he knew. I should have put it in writing, I now realize - hell, we should have gotten the keys to him - but I don't feel that we owe for the rent during those days.
Reply To This Message | Quote This Message | Report This Message
Re: Returned keys and renters rights
Posted by: Ralph
Date: August 12, 2006 01:19:36 PM

As Ed states, the landlord almost certainly cannot legally do as he plans. I say "almost" because judges do not always rule correctly. As advised by Ed, it is best to give notice of intent to vacant in writing even if not required by the lease agreement.
Reply To This Message | Quote This Message | Report This Message
Re: Returned keys and renters rights
Posted by: Ed
Date: August 12, 2006 05:37:20 PM

Send him a request in writing (keep a copy) for return of the deposit within 7 days or you will take further action (don't say what). The sue him in small claims court. It's easy and often the forms are available online. Good luck!
Reply To This Message | Quote This Message | Report This Message

 Your Name:
 Your Email:
 Subject:
      
Copyright Rhol.com 2005