Q: Ex landlord is trying to charge $2,000 and seized entire deposit.
So I moved out of my apartment with my brother and provided more than ample written notice with my landlord per they require. They accepted the notice and we vacated the apartment. We paid our rent and specifically stated in our move out notice that if we move out prior to the end of the month we would be requesting our unused portion of rent back. We moved out and took time and geo-stamped photos of the unit. They are now trying to say that we left this place a wreck. They changed the lock codes on us (electronic door code entry to the unit) as well so we couldn't access the unit. We had to use the app they use to get back in and take photos before giving notice that we are vacating the unit and now they're alleging that we owe $2,500 in ridiculous damages and unpaid rent after they already seized our $1,140 deposit. Also they will not return the unused portion of rent. They're demanding that we pay this before they will give me my package that was shipped to the old address as well.
You generally can't hold someone's mail because you believe that person owes you money. Tampering with someone's mail sent via USPS can come with stiff consequences under federal law. If you believe someone is holding or opening your mail illegally, you may want to contact your local postmaster to report this and ask for assistance in getting it back.
For the rest of your question, a good resource to start is the Landlord-Tenant Handbook by Legal Aid of Nebraska. It is a little dated now but it is often still a useful resource as a starting off point. It also includes phone numbers to contact for additional information and some sample forms and letters.
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