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Security Deposit

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BUSINESS
September 6, 2013 | By Martin Eichner
Question: My wife and I moved out of a house that we were renting. We gave the owner a proper 30-day written notice. It has now been more than 30 days since we vacated and turned over the keys to the owner. We knew that we were supposed to receive the refund of our security deposit within 21 days after we vacated, so we recently contacted the owner. He apologized and said he hadn't returned our deposit because he had lost our forwarding address. Is this an acceptable excuse for ignoring the 21-day rule?
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BUSINESS
February 9, 2014 | By Anky van Deursen
Question: I have lived in my apartment for six years. Just recently, a friend told me that I should have been receiving interest on the $2,000 security deposit I paid when I first moved in. Over all these years, the interest should have added up to a lot of money. Am I too late to sue for the unpaid interest? Answer: If you have a written rental agreement, the good news is that you have four years to file a case in Small Claims Court or any other court for money owed as a result of your security deposit, for example, failure to refund it. If you have an oral agreement, even if there aren't many details other than the amount of rent and the amount of the security deposit, you have two years to file a case.
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BUSINESS
February 9, 2014 | By Anky van Deursen
Question: I have lived in my apartment for six years. Just recently, a friend told me that I should have been receiving interest on the $2,000 security deposit I paid when I first moved in. Over all these years, the interest should have added up to a lot of money. Am I too late to sue for the unpaid interest? Answer: If you have a written rental agreement, the good news is that you have four years to file a case in Small Claims Court or any other court for money owed as a result of your security deposit, for example, failure to refund it. If you have an oral agreement, even if there aren't many details other than the amount of rent and the amount of the security deposit, you have two years to file a case.
BUSINESS
September 6, 2013 | By Martin Eichner
Question: My wife and I moved out of a house that we were renting. We gave the owner a proper 30-day written notice. It has now been more than 30 days since we vacated and turned over the keys to the owner. We knew that we were supposed to receive the refund of our security deposit within 21 days after we vacated, so we recently contacted the owner. He apologized and said he hadn't returned our deposit because he had lost our forwarding address. Is this an acceptable excuse for ignoring the 21-day rule?
BUSINESS
December 23, 2012 | By Martin Eichner
Question: We recently moved out of a house that we were renting. Our lease stated that the tenant was required to have the home and carpets professionally cleaned upon vacancy. We offered the landlady $350 from our deposit to hire a company to clean the house to her liking. When we received our refund, we saw that she deducted this amount from our security deposit. However, by then I had driven back to our rental to pick up my remaining boxes. When I was there, I saw that our landlady had painters repainting the entire house.
BUSINESS
March 30, 2000
This is one in a series of tax questions from readers answered by local members of the California Society of Certified Public Accountants, to help with your 1999 and 2000 tax issues. Q: My tenants pay $1,900 each month in rent. A property management company receives the check, deducts its 10% fee and sends me the balance. This year I had a new tenant, so I received a $1,900 security deposit. But this security deposit appears as "rental income" on my 1099-MISC.
REAL ESTATE
January 5, 2003
Los Angeles has revised its rules on the interest that owners of rent-controlled housing are required pay on security deposits. A landlord is not required to pay interest on deposits for Jan. 1 through Dec. 31, 2002. For 2003, an owner will pay interest based on either a 1% rate or the actual amount of interest earned. The changes were made in response to a city attorney recommendation.
NEWS
March 7, 1985 | JEFFREY S. KLEIN
If you are about to move out of your apartment, you're probably wondering whether you'll ever see again the security deposit you gave your landlord when you signed your lease. You're a little late. You should have worried about the security deposit when you moved in. When you first sign a lease or rental agreement, it is a good idea to ask for a written receipt for all money paid, with the amounts for such things as security deposit, rent and cleaning fee separately identified.
REAL ESTATE
January 12, 1992 | KEVIN POSTEMA, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
QUESTION: I moved into a two-bedroom Rancho Palos Verdes apartment in 1984. The rent was $850 a month and the security deposit was $600. In 1988 I moved into a one-bedroom apartment in the same building because I could no longer afford the rent, which had escalated to $1,100 on my two-bedroom apartment. At that time, however, deposits were only $350 for one-bedroom units and $450 for two-bedrooms. When I moved, the manager deducted $160 from the $600 deposit, leaving my deposit at $440.
REAL ESTATE
October 8, 2000 | DIANE WEDNER
Renters who can't come up with hefty security deposits required by most property managers at move-in time now have an alternative. It's called Deposit Saver, and registration is available online. Rather than paying an upfront security deposit, usually equal to one month's rent, Deposit Saver allows renters to pay a monthly fee of roughly $20, greatly lowering their move-in costs.
BUSINESS
December 26, 2012 | By Chris O'Brien
Here's a nice holiday treat for the heirs of Steve Jobs. A dispute over the Apple founder's yacht has been resolved and the good ship Venus could soon be on its way to the United States.  According to Agence France-Press , the Jobs estate paid a deposit of an unspecified amount to designer Philippe Starck, who claimed he had not been paid all he was owed for his role in crafting the $127-million boat. "The Venus is no longer impounded; we have found a solution," Gerard Moussault, a lawyer for Jobs' heirs, told AFP on Monday. "A security deposit was paid into a bank account, but I cannot say for how much.
BUSINESS
December 23, 2012 | By Martin Eichner
Question: We recently moved out of a house that we were renting. Our lease stated that the tenant was required to have the home and carpets professionally cleaned upon vacancy. We offered the landlady $350 from our deposit to hire a company to clean the house to her liking. When we received our refund, we saw that she deducted this amount from our security deposit. However, by then I had driven back to our rental to pick up my remaining boxes. When I was there, I saw that our landlady had painters repainting the entire house.
BUSINESS
March 25, 2012 | By Martin Eichner
Question: I manage an apartment community with 16 units. When one of our residents first moved into her apartment, she requested permission to install grab bars in the bathtub. She was disabled and needed these bars to be able to use the tub. She offered to pay the installation cost. I said yes, and we noted the grab bars on the rental agreement. Two years later, she gave her notice of termination. When we did the pre-departure walk-through, I asked her what she was planning to do about the grab bars.
BUSINESS
March 25, 2012 | By Lew Sichelman
Three days after listing a house for sale, real estate agents Richard and Jean Murphy of Portland, Maine, began receiving a surprising number of calls — not from buyers but from would-be tenants. It turns out the callers were answering an ad that said the place was for rent, "and at a really low price," the agents for Harborview Properties recall. Worse, the "owner" was not the Murphys' client. It was someone living in another state who told callers that if they sent $1,500, the place would be theirs.
BUSINESS
December 25, 2011 | By Martin Eichner
Question: In these tough financial times I think a lot of people (myself included) are considering renting out part of their home, if not already doing so. I haven't been successful in trying to look up what the law says about renting a room or part of your house. I read this is different from renting a duplex or regular rental property. Can you provide any guidance? Answer: Your question is timely because many homeowners facing mortgage or other economic stresses are looking at room rentals as an option to increase their income.
BUSINESS
August 7, 2011 | By Martin Eichner
Question: I moved out of an apartment more than three years ago. I knew that I didn't leave the place in perfect condition, but I figured I would call it even if my landlord kept my security deposit. Instead, I received a letter from him telling me that he was keeping my security deposit and that I owed him $800 for additional damage to the property. I thought that claim was totally unfair, so I didn't respond. Now, three years later, that landlord has served me with a Small Claims Court lawsuit for $1,000 in damages.
NEWS
October 5, 1989 | JEFFREY S. KLEIN
Question: Some time last year, I entered into a month-to-month rent contract for a two-bedroom apartment at $600 per month with one month rent in advance and a deposit of $1,000. I moved in, paid a month's rent of $600 plus a deposit of $500, the balance of $500 to be paid the next month.
REAL ESTATE
February 1, 1998 | KEVIN POSTEMA, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
QUESTION: I live in a rental house in Sherman Oaks. I've been told that there is a law that states that a landlord must keep a tenant's security deposit in an interest-bearing account. This money must then be returned to the tenant when the lease is up, they tell me. Is it true? ANSWER: The city of Los Angeles, which includes Sherman Oaks, has a law requiring owners of rent-controlled rental properties in the city to pay renters 5% simple interest on their security deposits.
BUSINESS
September 26, 2010 | By Martin Eichner
Question: I have been living in my apartment for several years. I made an offer on a condo that I thought had been accepted, so I gave 30 days' written notice to the apartment manager. Now, three weeks later, I learned that I did not qualify to buy the condo, which means I don't want to leave my apartment. I told the manager that I wanted to withdraw my notice, but she said no. Since the apartment management hasn't given me her own termination notice, why can't I withdraw my notice?
BUSINESS
January 3, 2010 | By Lew Sichelman
Here are some tips for small-time landlords who are worried about losing tenants at a time when options for renters are greater than ever. From Multifamily Executive Magazine, these renewal tactics are aimed at professional property managers, but they work for amateurs just as well: Start early. Don't wait for the final month -- or worse, until your tenants contact you. Several months out, contact the tenants to try to determine their intentions. If need be, offer to keep the rent at the same level.
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