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Landlord refusing to return deposit, despite written agreement

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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Nov 2015
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    1

    Landlord refusing to return deposit, despite written agreement

    We vacated our previous apartment 2 weeks ago. When my husband had the final inspection with the landlord and agent the agent arranged for a property surveyor to attend as we had a feeling we were going to have issues. They spent 2 hours going through the apartment and the landlord was trying to pick at everything.
    The surveyor ruled on an amount that we should have to pay (which I thought was too much, but this landlord is mentally unstable and we had been receiving in excess of 50 messages a day so we agreed - there were a few things that needed fixing, although we could have argued wear and tear).
    Upon handover of the keys a written agreement was signed by all parties agreeing to the amount to be returned to us and the date it was to be returned by (within 7 days).
    During the week we kept receiving further messages saying that she had now found this and that broken and would be deducting it from the agreed amount, we sent repeated very clear messages back saying this was unacceptable and we would only accept the amount from the agreement.
    Sure enough the 7 days have gone past and we don't have our money back. She said we might get some of it back in a few days but she needs to 'get more deductions'. She is sending photos of things that I believe she has broken and saying $3000 here, $4000 there.
    What is the next step? She is now in my books a common thief.
    We have a written agreement signed from both parties for the return amount and date and we had a surveyor present during handover.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    4,713

    sorry for your trouble. can you let us know which building you were in before and whats the LL's name. i'm about to move soon.

    arathi likes this.

  3. #3

    Stand firm and DO NOT give in. The surveyor was arranged by the agent on her (the landlady's) instructions for the purpose of determining what exactly was broken etc and the cost of replacing/making good the problem. The handover inspection was conducted with the surveyor and both parties present, both parties agreed and signed to signify agreement. She cannot now renegade on the agreement.

    If she doesn't pay the remainder of the security deposit to you, perhaps take her to the small claims tribunal?

    Sorry to hear you have a dishonest landlady, fortunately, not all landladies are like that!!


  4. #4

    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Hong Kong
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    2,195

    small claim court, don't waste your time with maniac, some people only understand when you take them to court. I never had any problem with deposit. In general I'm quite firm with them, and tell them it's normal wear and tear. Most of the material they used in flat here are absolute rubbish that cost nothing. Like I drop a pint in the living room and it broke a tile. Just shows you the quality of this stuff.

    JAherbert likes this.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    23,758

    In future, simply don't give the keys back until your deposit is returned. This is the number one rule when dealing with landlords.

    In this instance your describe, you have very little leverage.

    MandM! and scrambler like this.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Hong Kong
    Posts
    17

    Yes, there are very difficult landlords and you can sort of tell going in a few weeks into a new agreement. With questionable landlords, I have always used the deposit as the remaining month's rent. This is not the normal practice "on paper" but it is a common practice among tenants and landlords in the Hong Kong community. Usually landlords would allow it because they don't want to risk a bad relationship and end up with a damaged flat.

    arathi, MandM! and Open Casket like this.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Posts
    5

    Typical , there is nothing absolutely nothing as greedy as a Chinese landlord oops sorry perhaps two Chinese landlords ! That's why there is such a dislike for these greedy low life grubs


  8. #8

    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Hong Kong
    Posts
    6,337
    Quote Originally Posted by TheBrit:
    In future, simply don't give the keys back until your deposit is returned. This is the number one rule when dealing with landlords.

    In this instance your describe, you have very little leverage.
    Exactly...

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Hong Kong
    Posts
    6,337
    Quote Originally Posted by Duncoru:
    We vacated our previous apartment 2 weeks ago. When my husband had the final inspection with the landlord and agent the agent arranged for a property surveyor to attend as we had a feeling we were going to have issues. They spent 2 hours going through the apartment and the landlord was trying to pick at everything.
    The surveyor ruled on an amount that we should have to pay (which I thought was too much, but this landlord is mentally unstable and we had been receiving in excess of 50 messages a day so we agreed - there were a few things that needed fixing, although we could have argued wear and tear).
    Upon handover of the keys a written agreement was signed by all parties agreeing to the amount to be returned to us and the date it was to be returned by (within 7 days).
    During the week we kept receiving further messages saying that she had now found this and that broken and would be deducting it from the agreed amount, we sent repeated very clear messages back saying this was unacceptable and we would only accept the amount from the agreement.
    Sure enough the 7 days have gone past and we don't have our money back. She said we might get some of it back in a few days but she needs to 'get more deductions'. She is sending photos of things that I believe she has broken and saying $3000 here, $4000 there.
    What is the next step? She is now in my books a common thief.
    We have a written agreement signed from both parties for the return amount and date and we had a surveyor present during handover.

    OP, did you intentionally cause damage or whats the deal? 25 cats or 10 dogs? 15 kids?

    There is no reason to lose any of your deposit unless you have something out of the ordinary or you intentionally damaged something. Everything else is wear and tear.

    2 rules of thumb.

    1st) Don't pay the last 1 or 2 months rent, so you don't get scammed. Better to let the landlord take you to court then the other way around. Good luck collecting money even on a lawsuit you win!

    2nd) When you give the keys back you collect the cash at the same time, simple. Companies typically won't do this so you need to think twice about who you rent from.

    Don't be a sucker!! Of course the landlord is mentally unstable. If I can play dumb for a couple days or a week and pocket 50k, why not?

  10. #10

    I've heard the only sure way of getting your deposit back is by not paying the last two month rental. I wouldn't recommend it as I understand this would possibly be in breach of your contract and possibly illegal. However, I have heard a few people do this....

    arathi and scrambler like this.

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