My landlord sold the house I was living in, but didn't transfer the deposit. My landlord is demanding I pay for minor repairs?

They are demanding $300, but my deposit was $600. I told them to keep it from the deposit and return. The other $300, but they claim I never paid THEM a deposit so I have to pay $300 and kiss my original deposit goodbye. Should I tell them to take me to court and just show the judge my receipt for the deposit?


You should try to mitigate damages first. In this case by educating your landlord on the law that he is required to refund your deposit less the damages by a certain date (per state law) because the lease survives the sale, and the deposit is a part of the lease. That it was his responsibility to collect the deposit from the seller, not yours. Then educate him on the penalty for "acting in bad faith" in your state, a little law that penalizes landlords for not following the law allowing you to claim 1-3 times your deposit in addition to what is already owed. Do so in a written form so that you can prove it to a judge to gain swift and a concise judgement.


Explain to them that if they don't take their damages from the deposit, they will end up owing you the $300 plus damages, usually double or triple depending on where you live. The deposit must be transferred when a new owner purchases the rental. But, that is between the buyer and seller, not you.


Are they repairs for damage you did over normal wear and tear? If so tell them to take it from your deposit and send you the rest. If not tell them you will not pay and want your full deposit back. If they claim you did not pay a deposit tell them you did and will send them a copy of your receipt if they need to see it. If they still refuse tell them you will file in court to get your deposit back, and do so in small claims court.


Tell them that your deposit belongs to the CONTRACT, and that all landlord rights under the CONTRACT, including the deposit, go to the new owner. Tell them it's not your fault they or their attorney was asleep at closing and didn't collect that deposit. Tell them that whatever court they take you to will see it that way, and if you don't get your money, you will be taking them to court. And I would tell them this in a letter that you keep a copy of and send to them by certified mail with proof of delivery.


When the lease moved to the new landlord, so too did the responsibility for returning your deposit. It's not your fault they failed to make sure that was transferred; they're still required to return the outstanding deposit.


Send the receipt for the deposit to the landlord. Include in the note you send a letter sepcifically stating they have 24 hours (or whatever time frame you want) to get back to you on how they will handle returning your deposit and 30 days (whatever you want but check local law on this one) to get you the money back. If they don't get back to you just take them to court. If you take them to court take them for the full amount of the deposit and it will be up to them to prove expenses of $300. If they are able to show expenses of $600 then you may not get anything from the court (there are other considerations) but I'd give it a shot anyhow.


Then your new landlord needs to contact the old landlord and get the transfer of the deposit............ you paid it, you have a receipt for paying it, it is your new and old landlords issue to resolve their issue....... so yes you can take the new landlord to court for the return of your deposit minus any damage the landlord claims you owe

Adam D

I would start with showing the landlord that receipt, which could resolve all of this. If not, they may try to take you to court, which will also resolve things.

real estate guy

First, your lease or even if you are on a month to month agreement transfers to the new owners. Leases run with the property, NOT the owners. So if you have a lease that hasn't expired, the new owner can't change the terms of the lease until it expires and then with 30 days written notice. In regards to deposits. Deposits run with the property, not the owner. In most states, the deposit needs to be held in a special account and not the general checking/savings acct of the landlord. And when the seller sold the property, the deposits are given to the new owner. In this case, the new owner didn't get the deposits from the seller. This is the NEW OWNERS PROBLEM. NOT!!! your problem. The new owner owes you $600. PERIOD. And No, you do not have to go after the old owner to get your money. The new owner owes you the money and THEY! can go after the seller - not you. In your case, if the damages is $300, then it's taken from the $600 and they OWE YOU the balance of $300. YOU! may actually have to sue them for this money. No matter what, you DO NOT have to give him more money to cover the $300. Let him try to sue. No big deal. Just show up and make your case. You have the

Nuff Sed

You can easily AVOID court if you get qualified adults involved to explain things to the idiot landlord. "Hello, you owe me $600 unless you can prove otherwise. Here is a copy of the receipt for the deposit I paid. If you don't follow the law, it may cost you even more when a court rules in my favor. Thanks." As mentioned by others, some state laws in the USA allow you to request an award of up to triple whatever amount the landlord illegally withholds from your deposit, if not also your attorneys' fees. Any attorney looking at your case might agree to take it on "contingency".

A Hunch

If you have a receipt for the $600, why haven't you shown it to the new landlord. If they don't believe it's a real receipt. Take them to court over the $300 they aren't paying you.

Pascal the Gambler

The deposit should have been transferred, and that is between them and the old LL. Contact the old LL and ask for it back.


Your previous landlord was required to return your deposit or turn it over to the new landlord. He's the one you need to go after.

Pearl L

i would just pay it if you dont want hinn bothering you