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I expect landlady to illegally keep my deposit, how to stop her?

Can a foreigner buy...? Can a foreigner rent...? What about deposits? Bad neighbors? Unreasonable landlords? Miscellaneous problems?
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I expect landlady to illegally keep my deposit, how to stop her?

Postby strider » 27 Jul 2016, 23:43

When I moved in, the landlady and I explicitly agreed (and put in the contract) that if any of HER stuff broke, she would repair it. Two weeks in, the refrigerator stopped working. She said she wouldn't pay for it, because it she just bought it brand new so therefore I must have broken it. (FYI the date on the fridge indicates it is over 15 years old ) I had to buy a new fridge myself. I followed the legal requirements, sending her written notice on an official government form, asking her to replace the fridge and giving her 10 days to do it. So that was 10 days I had no food at home. I then (also according to the law) withheld the cost of the fridge from my rent.

Now it's time to move out, and she's got 30k in deposit money, which I strongly expect she will refuse to return, to compensate for me "failing" to pay my rent for the refrigerator money.

I'm just wondering if anyone has any suggestions on anything I can do to get the money. If anything, the place is in much BETTER condition than it was when I moved in : p
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Re: I expect landlady to illegally keep my deposit, how to stop her?

Postby yyy » 28 Jul 2016, 00:30

strider wrote:I'm just wondering if anyone has any suggestions on anything I can do to get the money.

You do have records of everything (receipts, emails...), right?
And you do deduct rent from your income tax, right?
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Re: I expect landlady to illegally keep my deposit, how to stop her?

Postby hsinhai78 » 28 Jul 2016, 00:32

strider wrote:When I moved in, the landlady and I explicitly agreed (and put in the contract) that if any of HER stuff broke, she would repair it. Two weeks in, the refrigerator stopped working. She said she wouldn't pay for it, because it she just bought it brand new so therefore I must have broken it. (FYI the date on the fridge indicates it is over 15 years old ) I had to buy a new fridge myself. I followed the legal requirements, sending her written notice on an official government form, asking her to replace the fridge and giving her 10 days to do it. So that was 10 days I had no food at home. I then (also according to the law) withheld the cost of the fridge from my rent.

Now it's time to move out, and she's got 30k in deposit money, which I strongly expect she will refuse to return, to compensate for me "failing" to pay my rent for the refrigerator money.

I'm just wondering if anyone has any suggestions on anything I can do to get the money. If anything, the place is in much BETTER condition than it was when I moved in : p


You can apply for a payment order at your district court. That will take time however, as she will most definitely appeal the order and thus force you to start a civil proceeding. I don't quite see why you went all legal on her in the first place. Small amounts of money are hardly ever wort litigation. I would suggest you move out and take the new fridge with you in case the landlord does not return the deposit.
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Re: I expect landlady to illegally keep my deposit, how to stop her?

Postby yyy » 28 Jul 2016, 23:38

hsinhai78 wrote:
strider wrote:When I moved in, the landlady and I explicitly agreed (and put in the contract) that if any of HER stuff broke, she would repair it. Two weeks in, the refrigerator stopped working. She said she wouldn't pay for it, because it she just bought it brand new so therefore I must have broken it. (FYI the date on the fridge indicates it is over 15 years old ) I had to buy a new fridge myself. I followed the legal requirements, sending her written notice on an official government form, asking her to replace the fridge and giving her 10 days to do it. So that was 10 days I had no food at home. I then (also according to the law) withheld the cost of the fridge from my rent.

Now it's time to move out, and she's got 30k in deposit money, which I strongly expect she will refuse to return, to compensate for me "failing" to pay my rent for the refrigerator money.

I'm just wondering if anyone has any suggestions on anything I can do to get the money. If anything, the place is in much BETTER condition than it was when I moved in : p


You can apply for a payment order at your district court. That will take time however, as she will most definitely appeal the order and thus force you to start a civil proceeding. I don't quite see why you went all legal on her in the first place. Small amounts of money are hardly ever wort litigation. I would suggest you move out and take the new fridge with you in case the landlord does not return the deposit.

He's declared the fridge belongs to the landlord and deducted the cost from the rent accordingly, so he should steal it from her as a pre-emptive retaliation for her possible future withholding of the deposit? Are you sure? :ponder:

If all the evidence is on your side, filing a civil suit may easily result in a settlement through mediation before the trial.
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Re: I expect landlady to illegally keep my deposit, how to stop her?

Postby hsinhai78 » 29 Jul 2016, 01:37

yyy wrote:
hsinhai78 wrote:
strider wrote:When I moved in, the landlady and I explicitly agreed (and put in the contract) that if any of HER stuff broke, she would repair it. Two weeks in, the refrigerator stopped working. She said she wouldn't pay for it, because it she just bought it brand new so therefore I must have broken it. (FYI the date on the fridge indicates it is over 15 years old ) I had to buy a new fridge myself. I followed the legal requirements, sending her written notice on an official government form, asking her to replace the fridge and giving her 10 days to do it. So that was 10 days I had no food at home. I then (also according to the law) withheld the cost of the fridge from my rent.

Now it's time to move out, and she's got 30k in deposit money, which I strongly expect she will refuse to return, to compensate for me "failing" to pay my rent for the refrigerator money.

I'm just wondering if anyone has any suggestions on anything I can do to get the money. If anything, the place is in much BETTER condition than it was when I moved in : p


You can apply for a payment order at your district court. That will take time however, as she will most definitely appeal the order and thus force you to start a civil proceeding. I don't quite see why you went all legal on her in the first place. Small amounts of money are hardly ever wort litigation. I would suggest you move out and take the new fridge with you in case the landlord does not return the deposit.

He's declared the fridge belongs to the landlord and deducted the cost from the rent accordingly, so he should steal it from her as a pre-emptive retaliation for her possible future withholding of the deposit? Are you sure? :ponder:

If all the evidence is on your side, filing a civil suit may easily result in a settlement through mediation before the trial.


I am not sure ownership has been effectively transferred. OP may have withheld rent, but the landlady never accepted this, hence OP's predicament.
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Re: I expect landlady to illegally keep my deposit, how to stop her?

Postby yyy » 29 Jul 2016, 13:44

hsinhai78 wrote:I am not sure ownership has been effectively transferred. OP may have withheld rent, but the landlady never accepted this, hence OP's predicament.

She didn't want to accept it, but apparently she didn't protest the legally valid act once it was accomplished.

Imagine the headline: "Foreign tenant steals new fridge and disappears!" :twisted:

I know, she would probably be happy to keep the deposit and use a small part of it to buy an old fridge, but maybe she hates him enough to want to get him in trouble. :fume:
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Re: I expect landlady to illegally keep my deposit, how to stop her?

Postby hsinhai78 » 29 Jul 2016, 14:44

yyy wrote:
hsinhai78 wrote:I am not sure ownership has been effectively transferred. OP may have withheld rent, but the landlady never accepted this, hence OP's predicament.

She didn't want to accept it, but apparently she didn't protest the legally valid act once it was accomplished.

Imagine the headline: "Foreign tenant steals new fridge and disappears!" :twisted:

I know, she would probably be happy to keep the deposit and use a small part of it to buy an old fridge, but maybe she hates him enough to want to get him in trouble. :fume:


This is one of these cases that 1) can end either way and 2) are really not worth going to court for (see point 1 and consider the low amount of money involved). OP should take the fridge and say goodbye to his deposit. No need to fear claims of unjust enrichment then.
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Re: I expect landlady to illegally keep my deposit, how to stop her?

Postby SuperS54 » 29 Jul 2016, 21:45

strider wrote:When I moved in, the landlady and I explicitly agreed (and put in the contract) that if any of HER stuff broke, she would repair it. Two weeks in, the refrigerator stopped working. She said she wouldn't pay for it, because it she just bought it brand new so therefore I must have broken it. (FYI the date on the fridge indicates it is over 15 years old ) I had to buy a new fridge myself. I followed the legal requirements, sending her written notice on an official government form, asking her to replace the fridge and giving her 10 days to do it. So that was 10 days I had no food at home. I then (also according to the law) withheld the cost of the fridge from my rent.

Now it's time to move out, and she's got 30k in deposit money, which I strongly expect she will refuse to return, to compensate for me "failing" to pay my rent for the refrigerator money.

I'm just wondering if anyone has any suggestions on anything I can do to get the money. If anything, the place is in much BETTER condition than it was when I moved in : p


Assuming your rent is 15K, I'd preemptively not pay the last month or even 2 if you think you can get away with it. If the timing is right and your utility bills are due or close to it that will take another chunk out of the deposit. If you're not declaring rent as a tax deductible that's another potential lever to get your deposit back.
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Re: I expect landlady to illegally keep my deposit, how to stop her?

Postby yyy » 29 Jul 2016, 23:38

hsinhai78 wrote:This is one of these cases that 1) can end either way and 2) are really not worth going to court for (see point 1 and consider the low amount of money involved). OP should take the fridge and say goodbye to his deposit. No need to fear claims of unjust enrichment then.

Personally, I'd rather risk a small headache on firm legal ground for the sake of $30k plus interest than risk a larceny or embezzlement charge for the sake of... a fridge to lug around and, uh, not use because my next apartment will have one anyway. :doh:

But to each his own. :bow:
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