How to recover the security deposit from landlord?
I am a tenant and I live in Texas. I was residing in a rental house for the last one year. Now, after the expiration of tenancy, my landlord is not ready to return the security deposit. Can I recover the security deposit I paid?01/04/2017 | Category: Landlord Ten... » Security Dep... | State: Texas | #29413
The provisions related to the security deposit is stated under Tex. Prop. Code § 92.103,
Tex. Prop. Code § 92.107, and Tex. Prop. Code § 92.109. Tex. Prop. Code § 92.103 states the provisions related to the Obligation to refund by the landlord. It reads as follows:
“(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.
(c) The tenant's claim to the security deposit takes priority over the claim of any creditor of the landlord, including a trustee in bankruptcy.”
Tex. Prop. Code § 92.107 deals with the tenant’s duty to inform the landlord about forwarding address. It reads as:
“(a) The landlord is not obligated to return a tenant's security deposit or give the tenant a written description of damages and charges until the tenant gives the landlord a written statement of the tenant's forwarding address for the purpose of refunding the security deposit.
(b) The tenant does not forfeit the right to a refund of the security deposit or the right to receive a description of damages and charges merely for failing to give a forwarding address to the landlord.”
Tex. Prop. Code § 92.109 deals with the liability of the landlord with regard to return of the security deposits. This reads as follows:
“(a) A landlord who in bad faith retains a security deposit in violation of this subchapter is liable for an amount equal to the sum of $ 100, three times the portion of the deposit wrongfully withheld, and the tenant's reasonable attorney's fees in a suit to recover the deposit.
(b) A landlord who in bad faith does not provide a written description and itemized list of damages and charges in violation of this subchapter: (1) forfeits the right to withhold any portion of the security deposit or to bring suit against the tenant for damages to the premises; and (2) is liable for the tenant's reasonable attorney's fees in a suit to recover the deposit.
(c) In an action brought by a tenant under this subchapter, the landlord has the burden of proving that the retention of any portion of the security deposit was reasonable.
(d) A landlord who fails either to return a security deposit or to provide a written description and itemization of deductions on or before the 30th day after the date the tenant surrenders possession is presumed to have acted in bad faith.”