Essex, MD asked in Real Estate Law for Maryland

Q: I put a double security n rent as well as a holding fee never signed a lease but landlord wont return money what do I do

He said I had to pay for blueprints n other work he had done while we were trying to come to an agreement. That shouldn't be on me for improvement to his building correct. He has 12 grand my entire savings. I m a single mom who is still out of work I need my money back

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1 Lawyer Answer
Cedulie Renee Laumann
Cedulie Renee Laumann
  • Crownsville, MD
  • Licensed in Maryland

A: The answer will vary dramatically depending on whether this was a commercial or residential lease.

Residential leases have very clear guidelines on how a security deposit is handled and strict timeframes for return of the deposit. Commercial leases on the other hand generally are up to negotiation. A commercial tenant may be obligated to pay for improvements to the leased structure, as well as any other negotiated terms.

You are strongly encouraged to seek legal counsel. If this is a residential lease, the law not only mandates a list of withheld damages, but it also makes the landlord pay for the tenant's attorney fees if the tenant successfully proves that the Landlord did not handle the security deposit in accordance with the law. If this is a commercial lease in your individual name and you cannot afford legal counsel you may consider filing suit in District Court (District Court is the lower level court that handles all landlord/tenant matters as well as breach of contract and other matters under $30,000). You may also consider stopping by one of the pro se legal help clinics at the District Court for landlord/tenant matters.

While not legal advice, I hope this helps.

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