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Deposit Do's and Don'ts

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Junior Member
What is the name of your state? Texas
Okay I have a doosy. My husband and I lived in a house from January 2004- September 2005. We started having trouble in our marriage and were talking about seperation. We decided not to seperate but then in August of 2005 my mother had a severe break down and attempted suicide. We lived in a 3 bedroom home with three children that also included a den. I automatically took my mother home from the hospital and wanted her to stay with me a while. We had plenty of room and moved her into the den which was off of the living room. My landlord had called one day while we were at work and my mother answered the phone. She questioned my mother about why she was there and eventually found out she was staying there. She immediatley got very rude with her and told my mother we were in violation of our lease and she would need to leave or we would be evicted. My mother said we were not trying to start any trouble but that she had some medical issues and was just staying ther temporarilly. My mom eventually told the landlord what the deal was after basically being interrogated. The landlord told her we had ten days to remove one person or we would be evicted. My landlord knew my husband and I were having problems and suggested to me maybe my husband could leave. That was obviously not an option either because he had no place to go. At that point neither did my mother. My landlord called me and told me she spoke to the owner of the home and due to the circumstance she would allow us out of the lease and we could all leave without an eviction or breaking the lease without permission. I agreed to that because there was no other alternative. I agreed to the 313.00 reletting fee and turned in a thirty day notice. I had done some painting at the house but went out and got paint that was a lighter shade of white to cover any paint I had done because there were nail holes and just like any other rented apartment or home the landlord repaints but I wanted to cover anything I had done and the landlord was aware of that. There was a broken piece of a window panel, a torn screen door and the living room mini blinds that had to be replaced. I cleaned the carpets on a weekly basis and also cleaned them when we left. I also replaced all bedroom mini blinds. I took pictures of everything after I cleaned and also took pictures of the damage. We had put a 600.00 deposit on the house when moving in. I spoke to the landlord after everything was all said and done and told her that I knew we wouldn't get the depoist back because it would go towrards the reletting fee and small damages so when everything was totalled and the deposit was deducted to let me know what we owed. She then informed me that we forfeited the deposit because we did not comlplete our lease and the deposit would not go towards anything. My question is how that is legal? I thought that was the purpose of a deposit. My husband and I are like any ohter middle class family that just makes it and we got a total bill for 1000.00. Amazingly it added up to a perfect amount. We were charged 562.00 in damages for a small window panel, a piece of screeen on a screen door and one set of mini blinds, 100.00 for carpet cleaning, 313.00 reletting fee and 25.00 for keys. I didi not return the keys because I honestly just forgot because of evrything else going on. At first I just thought of it as another bill we will have to pay off because we don't have the money for a lawyer but I am slowly finding the importance of credit and I am trying really hard to correct our credit. I have not paid the relletting fee because I don't feel we are responsible for 1000.00 and it is a total bill and we can't pick and choose what we pay. If any one has any advice please let me know. I am desperately trying to repair our credit before we move in July and could use any advice. I am so scared to even try and get an apartment now because this is lingering.


Junior Member
So I'm reading the Texas property code. And all I can find is a clause that says if it was specifically outlined in your lease that you would forfeit the deposit for failing to give notice then she could keep it.

But there's nothing that says you forfeit the deposit just for moving out early. My guess is your lease would specifically have to say that somewhere for it to apply.

Here's the Property Code. http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/statutes/pptoc.html

Below is the paragraph I think applies most to your situation. Hope this helps and good luck!

§ 92.102. SECURITY DEPOSIT. A security deposit is any
advance of money, other than a rental application deposit or an
advance payment of rent, that is intended primarily to secure
performance under a lease of a dwelling that has been entered into
by a landlord and a tenant.

Acts 1983, 68th Leg., p. 3639, ch. 576, § 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1984.
Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 744, § 2, eff. Jan. 1, 1996.

§ 92.103. OBLIGATION TO REFUND. (a) Except as provided
by Section 92.107, the landlord shall refund a security deposit to
the tenant on or before the 30th day after the date the tenant
surrenders the premises.
(b) A requirement that a tenant give advance notice of
surrender as a condition for refunding the security deposit is
effective only if the requirement is underlined or is printed in
conspicuous bold print in the lease.


Junior Member
Thank you very much. I don't know anything about laws so this gives me at least a start to try and fight something. My husband is in the military so maybe I can get some sort of legal assistance. My lease did not specify anything about forfeiting the deposit.

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