This Man Taught His Landlord A Lesson After They Tried To Keep His Security Deposit
by Matthew Gilligan
Ahhh, the security deposit.
It’s been a point of contention for ages and if you ever move out of a place you’re renting, you always say a special prayer that you’ll get the whole amount back.
I’m sure you’ve been there before…
And so has the person who wrote this story on Reddit.
Check out what they did when their landlord tried to keep their deposit.
Get started now!
Landlord Tries to Keep Security Deposit… Ummm, No.
“About 10 years ago, my at-the-time girlfriend (now wife) and I moved from the area we went to college to an apartment near where we planned to start our careers.
I say it was an apartment, but it was really the basement of a house that the landlord had walled off to create 2 “apartments” to rent. The place was kinda crappy, but the rent was cheap for the area, and we were close to work.
Everything was fine for a few months, but the only parking for us was on the street out front – the couple that rented the upstairs “apartment” had rights to the garage and driveway (they paid more than we did).
Suddenly my car got a couple BS tickets for parking on the street – I’m guessing some ***-clown cop needed to meet their quota – and my girlfriend’s car got sideswiped in a hit & run. This **** had to stop, so we emailed the landlord (her preferred form of communication) to ask if there’s anywhere safe for us to park.
She replies, “Park anywhere you want.” We had noticed that our upstairs neighbors usually eschewed the driveway to park in the front yard (they were horribly lazy), so we figured that would be a good spot for us too. We parked in the front yard the rest of the year.
We figured that would be the end of it. We finished our lease, left the place in better shape than we found it, and requested our $1500 security deposit back. After a couple weeks, we got a check for $700… WTF!?!?!? Since there was no explanation, we asked the landlord for one, and she replied that the deducted amount was to “re-sod the lawn”, claiming that parking on it had damaged it.
Now, I was the one who cut the grass at this house while we stayed there, so I was well aware that the lawn was more weeds and bald spots than grass – picture the African savanna in mid-summer.
No one had ever lifted a finger to landscape any part of the property, but the landlord wanted to sell the house once the leases were up, and she figured she could get the renters to pay for a nice, new lawn.
I complained to the landlord: didn’t care. I put in a complaint with the local housing department: didn’t care. I threatened to take her to court: didn’t care. So, that’s what I did – took her to small claims court.
I had never sued anyone before, so I was going in prepared! I took pictures of the entire front yard – the area that we “damaged” was actually one of the best patches of grass, though it did have a small rut that my tires made when the yard was muddy in the summer. I got testimonials from our upstairs and across-the-street neighbors. Most importantly, I printed out the email where the landlord told us to park anywhere.
We were suing for $1800 to cover court costs and us both missing a day of work on top of the full security deposit. In mediation we said we would settle for $1400, but she must have thought she was in the right because she refused to offer a penny more than the original $700 check, which we never cashed.
When we got in front of the judge, it was pretty clear that she had no evidence, hadn’t prepared anything, and just assumed that us “kids” would fall on our faces. We did not.
We put everything we had in front of the judge and made our claim (he was impressed). He stopped us when we showed him the email to ask the landlord, “Did you really tell them to park wherever they wanted?” When she said “yes”, the judge replied “Then what are we even talking about?”, and that was that. Judgement in full for us, and that ***** had to pay to re-sod her own **** lawn.
Next time you tell someone to “park wherever you want”, you’d better mean it. Or at least don’t try to **** someone over when they comply with what you said! If you made it this far, thanks for reading!”
Here’s how people responded.
This person had a similar situation with a landlord.
Another person got a big payday in Colorado because of something like this.
And one Reddit user shared how they make sure something like this doesn’t happen.
Always stick up for yourself, fam!