What I can do to get a refund of the money I put down for a rental if the unit cannotnow beoccupieddue to building/safety code violations?

UPDATED: Aug 5, 2011

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What I can do to get a refund of the money I put down for a rental if the unit cannotnow beoccupieddue to building/safety code violations?

We were going to rent a townhouse so we put down a $200 deposit and 1/2 of the first months rent (totaling about $500). I guess an inspector came in and said that the floor was rotted and there was mold. The owner said we would get all our money back because we couldn’t rent it now. We were told that we would get it in 7 to 14 days (which is hard because we are trying to find another place) but now it’s getting close to 14 days and I haven’t been able to get a hold of anyone. What can Ido if 14 days comes and goes without a word?

Asked on August 5, 2011 Washington


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You should write the person who you gave the $500.00 or so deposit a letter immediately requiring that your deposit be returned to you by a stated date due to the failure of the landlord to give you possession of the townhouse. Keep a copy of the letter for future reference.

If the money is not returned to you within the demanded time period, your recourse is to file a small claims court action against the person holding your money. You might also contact your local landlord clinic about your situation to see if someone with it can assist you in pressuring the landlord to have your money returned without having to file a small claims court action.

Good luck.

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