Owner withholding security deposit for silly reasons
I have stayed in a flat in Hyderabad from 1st September 2012 to 31st March 2016.
I paid 28000/- as a security deposit. Initially we made agreement for 11 months.
However, I continued in a flat beyond 11 months from 1st September.
Neither owner nor I insisted for rental agreement renewal.
In February 1st Week I have given him a notice to vacate the flat by end of March.
I paid him rent for every month. I could not vacate the house on 31st March 2016.
I planned to vacate the house at the end of 1st April 2016. The owner asked me to
handover the keys to the person who stays in opposite flat. As the neighbour is
not in flat, owner sent his relative the next day (Owner stays in Bangalore. His relative
only handed over the flat keys to me when I moved into the flat in September 2012).
He has taken the possession of the flat. His relative did not say any objections at the time
of handing over the property. The owner also did not utter anything for 2 months.
When I requested for returning of security deposit of 28,000/-. For the first time,
He said on 8th June, 2016 that there are damages in the flat and will withhold
around 14,000/-. I requested for the damage details.
On 21st June, He sent below details through WhatsApp.
Electricity Bill -> 1172
Flat Cleaning Charges -> 1500 [Owner states that New tenant has claimed this amount. When I checked with tenant, he said he claimed only 1100/-]
Bathroom Jet Replacement -> 500
Wall repair for Nails and 1 Tile Broken -> 2000
Bathroom and Bedroom Door Repair -> 800
Wooden Stool is missing -> 1500 (This is returned immediately after brought to notice. Owner acknowledged that he received it)
Rent Difference for Jan - March 2016 -> 3000 (1000 * 3) [Owner says that he reduced 1000 from 16000 rent expectations because I will stay. As I immediately left (I have given him 2 months notice), he is adjusting this loss]
Door Lock for Bedroom 1 -> 1500
Door Lock for Bedroom 2 -> 1500
Late Handover by 2 days -> 2000 (1000 * 2) [Owner states that new tenant has claimed 2000. When I checked with new tenant, he said that he charged only 1000/-]
Total => 15472
I requested for "Wall repair for Nails and Tile Repair" and "Bathroom and Bedroom Door Repair" on 22nd June.
On 22nd June, I sent him the carpentry bill work which is done by owner on 2nd September, 2012 (Next day of moving in)
in which there is a mention of door latches. The owner only got latches installed as the door locks are expensive.
He states that as far he remembers the door locks are working. One time he states that door locks are working and did
install the latches as per my request. I never requested for any latches.
He sent me some pictures on the damage part on 2nd July, 2016. Same day, Again I informed him that door locks are not working from
beginning. I called him many times to raise my objections. He never responded. I was worried to bring all objections to him in
WhatsApp chat as he can withhold the entire amount.
On 8th August, In WhatsApp chat, he responded by acknowledging that he received that wooden stool, he will reduce 1500 and Will return me 14000/-.
I requested for call with him. He agreed on 14th August for a call. However it did not materialize.
On 9th September, I told him that I spoke with current tenant and tenant stated that he charged only 1000 for late handover
and 1100/- for cleaning. I asked the owner for returning this amount also and asked him to give a chance to repair the damages
as he did not do any repair work so far and his charges are unreasonable.
The owner objects saying that I should have done the repair work before vacating the flat and he will not allow anybody to repair his flat.
He is supreme and nobody can question him how much to charge.
He himself has mentioned the damage details, only on 8th June (After more than 2 months from the date I vacated).
How can anybody will repair the damage details before April 2nd for the damage details that are partially provided on 8th June?
I served him legal notice through a lawyer as I have entire discussion recorded in a WhatsApp Chat. Now also, He says he will pay 17,000/- only just to settle the matter.
What are the options available to me to recover my Security Deposit from the Owner?
Can Owner claim rental difference for past months just because he had expectations?