“Are they super shady or just super incompetent?”

weak sauce
Photo by PoPville flickr user Andrew Pasko-Reader

“Dear PoPville,

Trying to find out what my rights are as the tenant and what my landlord could do on his side.

Basically, I sent my 30 days notice to the property manager, which he acknowledged. He asked me to tell him when he could do the move-out inspection and I emailed asking if it had to be a weekday or could be a weekend and also asking that they give me notice before showing the apartment since I have a dog (even offered to help show it so the owner didn’t have to come down from NY). No response. I email a week later asking again and offering a few dates that work. Still no response. I finally email again on the 7th of the new month asking when they can do it so i can get my deposit back and they schedule for the next morning.

Fast forward EXACTLY 45 days to last friday (when they need to return the deposit by law) and I get an email saying that because I didn’t “turn in my keys” until the 8th, they’re keeping a week of rent.

Now, I probably should have attempted again to schedule the inspection before the first but I did make two attempts to schedule with no response from them. When I mentioned this, the property manager said he understood my frustration but that I had not tried to contact anyone else at his company, so I was out of luck. He is my only point of contact and I only knew his information because after trying to email our original manager and the email bounced back; and a call to the office revealed that he had left the company and no one had told us who our new manager was.

So I reach out to the owner and it turns out that they didn’t tell him that we were moving out until the 8th when they did the inspection! He lost a month’s rent (maybe more?) because he thought I would notify him directly and the manager didn’t say anything to him. So now, not only is there financial loss, but I’ve lost the great relationship I’d built with my landlord and can never use him as a reference.

It gets even more shady though – making small talk with the manager when he came to do the inspection, I asked if the landlord had decided to redo the floors and not rent it out right away (and hence why they hadn’t shown the apartment at all during the last month). He replied that he thought the owner was still “deciding what to do with the property” but that he was “sad to hear we were leaving”. So he made it sound to me like he had already talked to him and told him we were leaving.

Finally, I got a letter from them today postmarked the 23rd with the “itemization of security deposit” forms, the box checked to indicate the check was enclosed – with no check. So they’ve now blown past the 45 day requirement to give me my money back.

Are they super shady or just super incompetent? Do I/my landlord have any legal recourse against them for the money? Do I take the loss and try and salvage the relationship with my former landlord?”

93 Comment

  • I would sue the LL in small claims. You gave (and he acknowledged) your 30 day move out notice. Security deposit can only be dipped into for physical damage to property. And because he didn’t return any of your sec dep by the 45 day point, he loses any right to claim any amount of money.

    • Oh and BTW, don’t fret about the LL reference, they are incredibly overrated. I haven’t had a LL reference here in the 8 years I lived here because I had to sue my last two LLs who tried to illegally keep my security deposit (a real problem with private LLs in the DC area). All LLs for managed properties (where I prefer to rent) care about is how much money you make per month, your employment status and your credit.

      • Also, since it is so difficult to get rid of bad tenants in DC – a landlord may give you a good reference just to get rid of someone.

        • pretty sure bad LLs are a much more prevalent — and serious, given that they hold far more power — issue than bad tenants

    • +1 – this will work.

    • Is there a Statute of Limitations on pursuing this?

  • Incompetent and potentially shady Property Manager. Dealing with this now with my property manager as property owner. I dont want to hijack your thread but property managers will conveniently not communicate these kind of things between tenant and owner for personal gain. Our PM did something similar in an effort to basically keep an extra’s month rent and part of the water payment….

    • Ugh, this is why I am happy to do it myself. Sure, it’s a lot of work and stressful at times, but I feel better about my house with myself in charge. Plus I don’t have to cut x percent to the property manager!

      • Unfortunately in this case, landlord can’t because he lives in NY and must have a property manager for it to be a legal rental.

        • Interesting. In my case the landlord was living on the West Coast and renting directly to a girl who was subletting out a room to me. She was the one responsible for dealing with my security deposit. Was that even legal?

        • I wasn’t aware of that requirement. As long as the property is registered as a rental, i didnt think that there was a requirement for a PM

          • Same. Where does it say this? I am looking now and I don’t see anything about that as a requirement?

          • It’s on the dcra website. On the get a one family rental license page, at the bottom it says “sole proprietors are required to maintain a resident aren’t…may be a resident of dc or a business physically located in dc.”

          • That is quite different than “…because he lives in NY and must have a property manager for it to be a legal rental.”

          • You’re correct. I meant to start with you need an agent and it’s on dcra website.

          • All you need is a registered agent where service can be delivered. I’m the registered agent for a friend who lives in Virginia and rents his house in DC. No need to fork over 7-10% just to have a DC address that can be served.

        • That’s not true. You just have to have a “registered agent” who resides in DC to accept service of documents. It can be a friend.

      • Doing it myself now. From my own experience, I had to start communicating directly with the tenant on the move out because I had a viable new tenant and didnt want to lose the lead. The communication from the PM was far different than what I was getting from the actual tenant regarding the delay on the move out. Long story short, I am out about $2,000 because the PM misappropriated some funds for personal use and delayed my tenant by about 45 days from moving in. Glad she stuck with us…. I decided not to chase the 2 grand… The universe moves in such a way that it will be repaid to me somehow…

  • In my experience, you should never expect to get your security deposit back, at least not without a fight.
    I went through something similar with my first apartment, though I ultimately gave up because the person I was trying to get the deposit from suddenly turned psychotic and I was worried about my safety.
    After that I stuck with rentals that didn’t have a deposit. With all the stress of moving I never have the energy to beg and argue for it back.

    • Good luck finding an apartment that doesn’t require a security deposit that is anything other than a complete dump. It’s much, much better to know the law, your rights and potential legal recourse.

      • A lot of the large, newer buildings don’t require a deposit. I live at the Allegro and paid none.

      • My favorite apartment ever was one that didn’t have a security deposit. I do think you’re more likely to see it with large buildings, but they don’t necessarily have to be the new expensive ones (mine wasn’t). I liked having the cost of wear and tear built into the rent, instead of having to nit-pick over it while I’m trying to settle into my new place.

        • Well, they can’t charge for ordinary wear and tear, so isnt that always (in theory) built into the rent?
          I’d much rather pay a deposit and not have my rent go up in 4yrs, but I see why someone would rather avoid the hassle.

          • News to me. Anything I’ve ever been charged for was what I would consider ordinary wear and tear.

          • That is unfortunate. It’s mentioned in the tenant guide as something you explicitly can’t be charged for. Scuffs and such are just the cost of doing business.

    • I have found this to not be true in DC. As people below have said, DC law requires you get your security deposit back absent some fairly large damage. Wear and tear is not enough. As for management companies, I rented through one once for two years (it was an MD company, so who knows if it even complied with the resident agent requirement), and they were beyond incompetent. Really terrible.

    • That is very wrong on the landlord’s part. When I stopped renting, I got my full security deposit back from my landlord with no hassle. Now that I’m a landlord, I have always given the full security deposit back to the tenant (I even let them forgo paying their last month rent in lieu of getting the deposit back since it is the same amount). Of course, I’ve had a good relationship with each of my tenants and I keep up regular maintenance on the apartment so I know it’s in a state of good repair.

    • I’ve only rented once in DC before purchasing my home. My family and I rented a house on Allison street and we received our full deposit back with no hassle. The property was managed by someone for the landlord who lived out of the country. The manager Brian was always responsive to our requests for the one year that we lived there. So sorry to hear that this is not the norm.

  • I’m sorry this frustrating experience happened to you. But, really, in the long run…is it really worth all of the extra time and effort you’re going to have to go through get back a week’s worth of rent? I’d say yes if it was a full month, but…

    • Yes, for me it would be because it’s the principle of the matter, not the money. If you let people get away with crap like this they will do it again and again.

    • from what I read of the situation, it’s more just a week of rent…it’s the entire security deposit, which can be in the 1k-2k range depending on the rental situation. so I would definitely argue it – for the money and on principle (as Formerly ParkViewRes states).

      • i completely agree if it’s the entire month. i just couldn’t tell from the original post if it was the week or the entire thing.

    • It appears they didn’t send op anything not just that week’s rent.

    • Yes. This is how landlords get away with scamming renters. Don’t let him do it without a fight.

      • I think its the PM not the LL personally but I am bias as a landlord and I am aware how shady PMs can be.

    • Read again. They kept his entire deposit.

    • Yes, it would be worth it for me, too. A week’s rent might be equal to a month’s worth of groceries for some people.
      .
      (Tangental story: I one time kept half a subletter’s small deposit for cleaning fees because they pretty much trashed my apartment, all per the terms of the lease they signed, and when I sent the check for the other half back to the subletter the guy was so pissed that I kept half his money that he rejected the check and it was returned to me! Why do people not want the money they are entitled to? I don’t get it….)

    • One strongly worded letter from myself signed with the JD at the end of my name was enough to get a large management company to back down on not returning our deposit once. It was less about the money and more about the principle of the matter for me.

  • First, clarify and simplify your story. It’s long, confusing, and difficult to follow. No one will be a better advocate for you than yourself – help others help you by clearly explaining what happened. Second, I’d encourage you to very politely reach out to your former LL, advise them of what happened, and let them know that the manager dropped the ball, not you. Third, take your questions to http://ota.dc.gov/service/ota-housing-assistance-and-community-service. If they don’t help you, contact your local political representatives (ANC, council member) and let them know the how the agency could assist you better.
    .
    Two final thoughts: stay on top of this. The longer you let it linger (45 days is a long time) the harder it will be to solve the problem. Finally, decide what you want. Do an assessment of the costs of all this to you, e.g. time and energy vs. amount of deposit vs. likelihood of you following through if it gets difficult. It is ok to just walk away. Sounds like this has worried you for a few months now, maybe it’s time to consider whether it’s worth it and whether you really want to fix this.

    • This is all great advice. I find that reaching out to the LL can be very effective as the PM is usually more responsive to a LL b/c it is afraid of losing business.

  • So I’m clear, you gave 30 day notice and emailed twice in 30 days to schedule the inspection. Even after getting no response, you didn’t contact the owner who you have a good relationship with. Then you waited an additional week to return the keys.
    First, I think the pm handled it poorly, but I think you did too. Normally I’d place blame on the pm totally, but you have contact with the owner, so if they aren’t being responsive I’d expect you to let the owner know. What happened during those 30 days that you couldn’t pepper them with daily emails? Same for the first week.
    I could look to dcra for assistance in getting back your deposit, but you may ultimately end up during the landlord to get it.

  • I successfully took my old landlord to small claims court and received the full amount of my security deposit back with interest (they are required to hold it in an interest bearing account).

    It was relatively easy, only a day off time wasted and I got an invite to go on one of those daytime courtroom tv shows out of it (which I declined).

    • Even just threatening small claims court can be effective. I was in a situation with a negligent landlord (who we knew gave people a hard time about getting security deposits back) a few years ago. When we sent a letter with detailed records of all the ways he’d violated code and asked for a credit, he refused that, but immediately sent us a check with the full security deposit amount when we moved out.

  • I’ve never scheduled a move-out inspection for an apartment before, is that a standard thing? I gave my LL/property manager the required notice a month ago that I’d be moving out at the end of April, and I was planning to turn in my keys to the property management company’s office on Friday morning, because the LL has barely contacted me since she acknowledged me giving her my notice at the end of March. (she sent me one email about coming to take pics to advertise the unit but I don’t think that she ever did it).

    • When attempting to get the deposit back, its common to see how the move out inspection rated as justification for full or partial refund. I rented in college and never got my security deposit back as they painted and replaced carpet each time between tenants.

    • It is a standard thing, from my experience and understanding. Plus I’d prefer it — so that I can be there to KNOW they aren’t jipping me by taking money for damage that wasn’t actually there. And ALWAYS take pictures of EVERYTHING for proof, especially if you don’t do an inspection together WITH your landlord.

      • Yes, do it! I received a list of damages that were completely fabricated, and there was nothing I could do to disprove them because I’d already turned in the key. I figured if I tried to do small claims court she would simply inflict the damages on the apartment herself to support her story. If nothing else, take a lot of photos of everything when you move in and out.

        • ^This. At one point the PM suggested I could have just dropped off the keys and I pointed out that retaining control of the property until the inspection was in my best interest if I was going to be held responsible for damages up until that point.

      • I second what Friday Girl said. I leave every apartment with a full folder of photos taken from every corner and every angle. I also make up MY OWN checklist to use in the walkthrough (in addition to whatever the landlord uses) and I would never, ever do a walkthrough without the owner/manager. As for communications such as emails, texts, and phone calls, I request the landlord include in the lease a short word about communication between tenant and landlord so that we can hold each other responsible when attempts at communication go unanswered. Unanswered communication is absolutely NOT acceptable in a business relationship. Period. Full stop. My former seriously corrupt landlord, who I mentioned in another comment, had an excuse every single time she refused to answer an email or return a phone call. I recommend ending every single email with “please reply that you have received this email”, even if the reply is just to say “Got it” or “thanks”. Hold these people to accountability.

    • Thanks – I’ve had the opposite experience as some others here have had (I’ve never NOT gotten back my full security deposit when I’ve moved out of my last several apartments) so I wasn’t thinking about it. I dislike my LL so much that I probably won’t insist on being with her when she goes to inspect the apartment, but I will take lots of pictures to document its condition before turning in the keys like you all mentioned. Thanks for the advice!

      • If they’re not auto date/time stamped, I’d email them the same day you take them to establish a timeline.

    • DC rental statutes provide for a move-out inspection and specify that it should be conducted within 72 hours before or after move-out. It’s not technically required, but is a good way to get a sense of what the landlord considers as damages. Nothing about the move-out inspection is legally binding (if you have the inspection 48 hours before moving out and then break a window moving furniture during move-out, that’s still chargeable), but it’s a good idea and something that DC rental laws require the landlord to make available to you.
      .
      ALWAYS take pictures once your place is empty after you move your stuff out. Those are your proof of what the place looked like when you vacated it. Time stamps are easy these days as you can take the photos with a cell phone camera, but the “old” advice in the film-camera days were to start and end the roll with a photo of that day’s newspaper with the date visible. Taking a snap like that isn’t really necessary anymore, but won’t hurt.

  • Was this Yarmouth Management? This story sounds similar to their management style. My apartment needed a lot of repairs, mostly due to the shitty pipes in the building were always busting and leaking everywhere. It always took 3 or 4 emails to them before they’d finally get back to me on any given issue.

    They had to replace the wood floor in my apartment twice simply because they didn’t bother to follow up with their own contractors to see what needed next. A plumber would come out to do an initial inspection while I was at work, and then the repairs wouldn’t actually get done. They waited until the floor was so warped you couldn’t open or close doors before they came to fix the issue, after several more emails from me asking what the plan was. This happened twice. They tried to blame me saying that I needed to arrange things with their contractors. Their contractors would refuse to talk to me about any repairs, saying that I wasn’t their client, Yarmouth was. They both just kept passing the buck back and forth.

    I finally called and demanded to speak with my property manager’s direct supervisor with my long list of issues with my apartment and the way Yarmouth was handling them. She defended the property manager, simply saying that they are too busy to be bothered to follow up on repairs, and they expected their tenants to reach out them as many times as possible before something was taken care of.

    Never again, Yarmouth.

    • These are actually learned and practiced tactics of The Runaround, which corrupt people do in business to steal money from their clients and/or to get away from not having to spend money for the client’s needs. My father taught me about them when I was a kid. He started and ran his own business to get off food stamps when he and my ma first got married. He was a very hard-working and industrious man in the impoverished south. He was always telling me stories about shady and corrupt people and how he constantly had to out-wit them to make his business survive. The types deliberately create such a web of confusion that unless you are Very Determined or Type A Personality you will eventually become frustrated and give up. I have experienced this more than once and I defeated these people every single time because I am a Very Determined person who can also be cunning. Like the Bible says: you have to be as gentle as a dove and as wise as a serpent.

    • That sounds about right (rented from them for a year with issues as well). It also sounds as bad as Gables Residential, but that’s a whole other story. What is it with property management companies in this town? I’ve pondered this question many a night. It seems like the profession is just chock full of liars, cheats, and lazy/unfriendly/unresponsive people. I pray every day that I don’t have a major issue in my apartment because I’m afraid of how it would be handled (or not handled!). I’ve seen too much and experienced too much from Gables in particular to have any confidence whatsoever. What’s the deal? Is the pay too low, or is it just a magnet for bad people?

      • Magnet for bad people. That’s my personal belief. And as I said elsewhere, these tactics are learned and practiced. They’re not accidental. These corrupt business people aren’t just “winging it” and coming up with stuff on their toes. These tactics are deliberate. That’s why we’re seeing so many comments on here like “Is this Gables?” or “This sounds like Yarmouth”. They all used the same learned tactics!

      • Sadly I agree – I think that it’s mainly a question of economics, and that there is a consistently high demand for housing and specifically rentals in the DC area. So people who’s primary goal is to make money with as little effort as possible gravitate to this business and are not held as accountable as they would be if renters had more options (and therefore market power). (And since we’re on the subject, I’m still mad that one of Chatel’s agents basically stole a $100 application fee from me 6 years ago!)

      • Welcome to the real estate “industry”

    • It does sound like Yarmouth who are the epitome of incompetence. My experience with them was as landlord. We were moving back into our house and tried to negotiate with the tenants through Yarmouth to move out earlier than the 3 months notice in exchange for rent subsidies. Instead of the usual property manager we had dealt with for the last 3 years, we were assigned the maintenance manager who proceeded to miss-communicate our offer and in turn anger the tenants. In our attempt to rectify the situation we asked for the tenants contact information which was denied by Yarmouth. Ultimately I was able to track down an email and got in contact with the tenants who proceeded to detail their lack of professionalism through the years. We ended up managing the rest of the move out process ourselves from out of town because we got no response from Yarmouth regarding the schedule for the walk through or key return. I guess once they know they will no longer be managing a property, all their responsibilities cease even though they are still been paid. A poor excuse for a company and I’m surprised they’re been able to stay in business for as long as they have.

  • Sounds super-shady. No one is this dumb who is running a business. It’s called a Runaround. One thing though: I don’t understand how OP has lost his great relationship with his landlord and now can’t use him as a reference over an issue that was clearly not OP’s fault, and which sounds OP explained to the owner. I had a former landlord like this – she was technically the “house manager” but the entire company was shady. She was the only point of contact I had. She used to come into our apartment without notifying us first, then when we’d catch her, you know, STANDING IN OUR KITCHEN she’d say she was changing the lightbulb or some such thing. The drop-ins happened repeatedly and when I finally said something one day she showed me the “fine print” (i.e. her own bizarre interpretation of the standard rental language) on the lease that stated the WHOLE HOUSE was hers to enter and that only INDIVIDUAL ROOMS were private of the tenant. She was also a compulsive liar who would counter any complaints by pointing out words we used that she didn’t like, such as “need to” and “should”. She could completely de-rail any and every attempt at conversation with these cunning tactics. Anyway, bottom line: this is not incompetence — this is a corrupt person doing shady business dealings and hoping they will push you so far with their dumb moves that you’ll give up and let them get away with it. There is NO DOUBT in my mind – none – that my former landlord would have masterminded a way to keep my security deposit from me if I hadn’t casually mentioned that my boyfriend at the time was a lawyer. Hint: my boyfriend wasn’t a lawyer. In fact, I wasn’t dating anyone at the time. But it worked!

    • You sound like a difficult tenant. If you were renting the rooms individually (vs. having a lease for the whole house), then it’s not entirely surprising that the landlord would think she could enter common areas. (Although she really should’ve notified you in advance anyway, just to be polite.) Perhaps you didn’t read the lease carefully enough?

      • Wow, you’re a rude one.

      • I don’t think KPS sounds difficult at all. Sure the landlord legally can enter the house when she wants, but as a landlord myself, I think it’s a breach of landlord/tenant trust to just show up whenever with no advance notice. In the four years I’ve rented my english basement, I only entered once without giving advance notice, and that was because a pipe broke upstairs and I needed to access the main valve to shut off the water. THAT is the kind of situation that warrants entering without notice- not changing a lightbulb!

        • That comment together with KPS’s other comments in this thread makes her sound like an adversarial tenant.
          .
          The landlord was in the wrong (plus it’s common courtesy not to show up unannounced)… but KPS’s reaction seems disproportionate to the offense, especially if the lease was for individual rooms rather than the whole house.
          .
          Why was the landlord even changing a lightbulb? Shouldn’t that have been the tenants’ responsibility?

          • anon who keeps calling me insulting terms, remember this: you are talking to total strangers here. Can’t imagine why you would post on a public comments section to make negative personal comments to someone you don’t know. Why follow behind my comments to critique and nitpick them about incidents that you weren’t present for and which have absolutely no bearing on your life? I was attempting to share an incident about corrupt landlords – as others have done here. It is idiotic to assume that the few details I gave represent the long and short of my ordeal. Why are you even concerning yourself with any of this?? Please go do something more useful with your time.

          • Kps such insulting behavior is par for the course here. I never much understood it either.

    • If the house manager were smarter she’d have brought a pants-less toddler with her, and then claimed he was just exploring the kitchen.

    • Yarmouth used to do this as well, except I rented the entire apartment, and not just a room in it. When they actually would send someone out to take care of repairs that were needed, every single time they would fail to let me know when someone would be coming. They again said that was the responsibility of their contractor to let me know. More than once I was home when a complete stranger with keys to my apartment would just open my locked apartment door without knocking. One time I was even in the shower when they came in.

  • Is this Long & Foster? They were similarly incompetent, not this exact situation, but the whole failure at communication and then not taking responsibility for it thing…
    I would say it’s worth following up with your landlord to fully explain what happened. They are employing the property manager and clearly they are getting screwed by their incompetence as well. And they might not realize if the prop manager is lying about timelines to cover their ass.

    • I forwarded everything to the LL so he knows what went down. I’d previously figured communication with the PM was better since the whole point of having one is that you don’t have to deal with all the little issues that arise. Now that I know PMs are not always to be trusted, I’ll always make sure to have an open line to the LL and cc them on EVERYTHING.

  • OP here – One very angry voicemail and strongly worded email to the PM cc’ing his boss resulted in a call from the PM later that day letting me know I’d be getting my full deposit plus interest (he had seemed unclear on whether it would include interest so I reminded him it is required by DC law). Of course, I still don’t have a check in hand so chickens and hatching and all that. But as someone suggested, simply standing my ground knowing DC laws like the 45 day requirement (thanks google) and being able to document a pattern of non-communication from this PM seemed to be enough.
    To be clear, this wasn’t an issue with the LL, this was totally on the PM and he tried to play both of us against each other to cover his own ass.

    • SUPERB!! Congratulations.

    • This was my assumption as stated above “To be clear, this wasn’t an issue with the LL, this was totally on the PM and he tried to play both of us against each other to cover his own ass.”

      These PMs will try to get away with as much as they can leaving the owner and tenant none the wiser and confused in the process.

      All the owner knows is that someone is moving out soon etc. They rely on the PM to close out the lease and to find the next tenant etc..

    • OP, glad to hear that everything got resolved!

  • You also need to find out if the Landlord had a Basic Business License. In DC, if you rent out a room or an apartment, you are required to get a BBL- even if you have a management company manage it for you. If the LL did not have a BBL, then the whole agreement could be null.

    • I don’t think that’s accurate — D.C. considers leases to be valid (at least as it applies to the tenant’s benefit) even if the LL doesn’t have a BBL or (if applicable) a Certificate of Occupancy.

      • Yes – leases are valid regardless of C of O or BBL (which is just a sneaky tax.) In fact, you don’t even need a lease to cause a sh@@tstorm for a landlord. As long as you are in the property you are basically king of the castle.

    • BBL is not needed to rent out a room in a home you own and occupy yourself. Any place you (the owner) don’t live, yes, required (possibly along with a C of O or other type of license), but renting out the 2nd bedroom in your own home for extra scratch doesn’t require a license in DC proper.

      • HaileUnlikely

        Actually, DCRA has told me that it does, though they have also told me that it doesn’t (it seems to depend who you ask). This is a very unclear area of housing law, seems to depend who you ask even among when asking senior staff of DCRA, and all of the poring over the DC Code that this non-laywer can handle has led me to the conclusion that the DC Code does not explicitly address this situation (renting out a single bedroom in a home that you yourself own and occupy as your own primary residence), but there is nowhere in the DC Code that explicitly states that this situation does not require a BBL and lots of other places in the DC Code that, while not specifically addressing this situation, suggest that renting any sort of housing accommodation of any sort requires a BBL.

        • This probably falls under the category of the “right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing,” but my friend who rents her extra bedrooms was denied a BBL when she went in person to apply for it because “no license is required to rent rooms in an owner-occupied single-family dwelling.” I think that might change if it falls under the “rooming house” regs (6 or more total occupants), but not for one or two bedrooms rented out with the owner living in the home. There was also an article in, I think, WaPo (can’t find it after a few minutes of searching) a few years ago about “whether your landlord is breaking the law” and it specifically said that if the owner lives in the home and shares common spaces with the tenants, no license is required, in DC.

  • What is this 45-day limit — is it 45 days after giving your 30 days’ notice that you’re moving out? I.e., roughly 15 days after you move out?

    • I’m pretty sure it’s 45 days from when you leave, but they can keep it for an additional 30 (if lease doesn’t give a shorter timeframe) if they’re deducting damages.
      In that case, 45 days to tell you they’re deducting then 30 additional days to return.

    • Within 45 days after the tenant(s) vacate the premises, the landlord must provide either a full refund of the security deposit, if no deductions were taken, or an estimated accounting of the use of security deposit funds to repair damage or recover unpaid amounts due, if deductions were taken. If deductions were taken, the landlord must provide a refund of any remaining security deposit funds and a detailed itemization of withholdings within 75 days of the tenant(s) vacating the property (basically, if you withhold for damages or unpaid rent, you have 15 extra days to fully settle up with the tenant).

      14-309 in this link: http://dcregs.dc.gov/Gateway/ChapterHome.aspx?ChapterNumber=14-3

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