• Owner not willing to settle deposit amount while vacating house

Hi ,

My house owner is not willing to settle the entire deposit amount while vacating the house. I got into the house on Jan 2013 and did 11 months rental agreement. After 11 months, I didn't renew the agreement but continued to pay the rent with additional 5% as agreed in the agreement. I have always given the rent through online transfer of money. As per the initial agreement, I am suppose to give 2 months notice to the owner which I have given through email. In the agreement, it is also specified that the deposit amount will be settled while vacating the house deducting any paint or repair charges. However, now the owner is telling that out of 90k, he will give me only 50K and remaining 40k will be settled only when he finishes his painting work and other work which I didn't agree. His logic is before vacating, he cannot assess what went wrong and the damages. I tried negotiating and asked him to give 60K at least and remaining 30K can be settled later on. He didn't agree. I vacated the house on 30th May and didn't hand have over the keys to the owner. I told him very clearly  he should do the assessment in front of me of the painting charges and other repairs and then once he pays the deposit amount, I will hand over the keys. Today, he sent me an message that I should hand over the keys to him. He will finish all the work and then he will settle the amount. If I don't hand over the keys, he will deduct the rent for the no of days I keep the  keys. Please advise what should I do. Should I go and file an FIR(If yes, what should be content) or some other route.
Asked 1 year ago in Civil Law from Bangalore, Karnataka
Hi, Better tried to negotiate the matter amicably, if you go on contest the matter you will lose the money ask him to pay the 50% amount right now and remaining amount after vacating the house and he inspect the house.

2. As you stayed in only two and half year nothing more damages will caused to the house  ask him to retain 10 to 15 thousand as a painting charges etc.

3. If he does not agree for the same then lodge a police complaint and contest the case legally. 
Pradeep Bharathipura
Advocate, Bangalore
4104 Answers
133 Consultations
4.3 on 5.0
Hello,
1) You can not file an FIR but you can complain to the police regarding the house owner not being prompt in returning the deposit amount. You need to handover the keys in person and demand the money back. Take a couple of witnesses with you.

2) You should have renewed the rental agreement when you decided to continue in the same place. When you return the key get an acknowledgement in writing from the owner.

3) If despite the complaint to the police and your request of he fails to return the deposit you can send him a legal notice demanding immediate return of the deposit and demand interest for any delay.
S J Mathew
Advocate, Mumbai
1949 Answers
65 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
1) hand over the keys if you have vacated the house 

2) accept sum of rupees fifty thousand under protest 

3) issue legal notice for recovery of balance amount 

4) filing recovery proceedings for rs forty thousand is Not worth it it as legal fees would be substantial 
Ajay Sethi
Advocate, Mumbai
23100 Answers
1212 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
Hand over the keys and get the acknowledgement about the date of hand over of the Keys.Then ask him to give in writing about the balance payment and settlement terms.

Later if he refuse to pay or if you are not agreeable to the settlement amount sent legal notice to him for recovery. No landlord want litigation over his property over for such a small amount of money.  
Sandeep Hegde
Advocate, Bangalore
361 Answers
97 Consultations
4.8 on 5.0
You cannot lodge a police complaint on such disputes.  The mistake of yours isthat you are holding  the keys of the house even after vacating.  This  indicates that you are still occupying the house and are legally liable to pay rent to the number of days till you hand over  the keys.  
If the owner  has agreed to  pay you Rs. 50,000 as initial refund of deposit, you accept it and also make an agreement while handing over the keys stating that he shall refund the balance amount immediately after assessing the cost for repairs and damages including re-painting.
This will ease your tension to a little extent, if you dont  accept this 50000 also, you may have to fight for years through court for getting it back by spending atleast half the amount towards litigation expenses and lawyer's fee.
This is called penny wise and pound foolish. 
Police will not entertain such landlord-tenant disputes. 
T Kalaiselvan
Advocate, Vellore
13910 Answers
127 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
1. The notice to vacate should be given in writing and not through email.

2. You should have vacated through a legal notice if the owner was not willing to return the security deposit. Refusing to give the keys is an act which impairs your claim to the recovery of your security deposit. Such extra legal measures disentitle you to the assistance of the court.

3. You should issue a lawyer's notice to him to refund the deposit, failing which you may go to court and seek the refund and also compensation.
Ashish Davessar
Advocate, Jaipur
18055 Answers
445 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
first of all try to settle the matter amicably if not possible then send a legal notice to him through a lawyer and claim your money along with interest of delay days and also claim compensation for harassment.

if he is not ready to make the payment within notice period then you may file a civil suit for recovery against him before civil court.
Nadeem Qureshi
Advocate, New Delhi
3517 Answers
129 Consultations
4.9 on 5.0

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