Q: landlord claiming that part of security deposit is for first time movers fee but not shown on lease.
Our lease says entire 515 is for deposit and refundable but landlord says portion was for first time movers fee and non deductible.
We should get the entire refund based on the lease correct?
A: The landlord can keep the security deposit (or a portion of the deposit) to cover damages which occurred as a result of your time in the property. These damages must be more than the normal wear and tear that naturally occur. The landlord can also keep the deposit to cover any unpaid rent, late fees, or penalties for leaving prior to the lease ending. I find it odd that the landlord has deducted this “first-time movers” fee. Especially with no advance warning per the lease. Did your landlord give you any further explanation as to why they are charging this fee? Is it a fee he is charging you for simply moving out of the property? Did you leave before the lease expired? Would need to know the answers to these questions. However, assuming no damage beyond normal wear and tear, no outstanding rent owed, and you did not leave early, you are probably entitled to the return of the full deposit. I suggest you first consult with an attorney who will review the lease and formally determine whether there was any basis for your landlord to withhold a portion of your deposit.
Wishing you the best.
Tim Akpinar agrees with this answer
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