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bdhobbs1

New Owner wants Security Deposit - TX

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We moved in to our current rental house in September 2006

 

The owner died in April 2014 and her son took over until he sold the house in February 2016, her son's business is downstairs from us and we give the rent check to his secretary each month.

 

We paid a $500 security deposit and $0 pet deposit when we moved in 9.5 yrs ago.

 

The new owner wants a new security deposit ($1250) and a pet deposit ($300)

He also wants background checks for each adult ($20 each) and wants us to pay for them.

 

I did a little research and found section 92.105 (TX) states that a new deposit is not allowed unless the house was foreclosed on. That the original deposit transfers over to the new owner during the purchase transaction. http://www.tenant.net/Other_Areas/Texas/txlihs/tenant.html#anchor1243641

 

I haven't researched the pet deposit and background check issues yet.

 

Am I reading this correctly?

 

Thanks for your help

Brian

 

 

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I did a little research and found section 92.105 (TX) states that a new deposit is not allowed unless the house was foreclosed on.

 

Property Code Section 92.105 says no such thing:

 

Sec. 92.105. CESSATION OF OWNER'S INTEREST. (a) If the owner's interest in the premises is terminated by sale, assignment, death, appointment of a receiver, bankruptcy, or otherwise, the new owner is liable for the return of security deposits according to this subchapter from the date title to the premises is acquired.

( b ) The new owner shall deliver to the tenant a signed statement acknowledging that the new owner has acquired the property and is responsible for the tenant's security deposit and specifying the exact dollar amount of the deposit.

(b-1) The person who no longer owns an interest in the rental premises is liable for a security deposit received while the person was the owner until the new owner has received the deposit or has assumed the liability for the deposit, unless otherwise specified by the parties in a written contract.

( c ) Subsection (a) does not apply to a real estate mortgage lienholder who acquires title by foreclosure.

 

 

What part of that do you think means "a new deposit is not allowed unless the house was foreclosed on"?

 

 

 

Am I reading this correctly?

 

I didn't really read the page to which you linked to see if you misread it or if whoever wrote it got it wrong, but that page isn't the law.  You can read the actual text of Section 92.105 (which I quoted above) here:  http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/PR/htm/PR.92.htm#92.105.

 

Keep in mind that, unless you have an unexpired lease for a term that is longer than month-to-month, your landlord can evict you without cause simply by giving proper notice, which means that he/she/it can demand an additional deposit and you can refuse, and he/she/it can evict you for that reason.

 

As you can see, however, the part about your deposit with the prior owner transferring to the new owner is accurate.

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The new owner hasn't even inspected the house - so when it's all said and done - and we finally move out, he can't say when the damages, if any, actually occurred.

 

We've never been late with a rental payment with the previous owner, so a deposit to cover a months worth of rent just doesn't make sense.

 

If it were me, I wouldn't do it to an existing tenant

 

Sorry about the rant, all this just irritates me

 

---------------------------------------------------------

And my other questions are:

 

Can he ask for us to pay for background checks and pet deposits as well?

He states that the background checks are needed by his Homeowners Insurance Co. - does that sound right?

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The new owner hasn't even inspected the house - so when it's all said and done - and we finally move out, he can't say when the damages, if any, actually occurred.

 

 

True, that could be an issue in your favor if he tries to claim damages in excess of your original security deposit.

 

 

We've never been late with a rental payment with the previous owner, so a deposit to cover a months worth of rent just doesn't make sense.

 

If it were me, I wouldn't do it to an existing tenant

 

 

You've obviously never been a landlord. I had rentals for 20 years. Had I bought one with a month to month tenant in it I might do the same thing.

 

 

 

Can he ask for us to pay for background checks and pet deposits as well?

 

 

If you are month to month tenants at will he needs only give you the required one month notice of termination with the option of staying on HIS new terms.

 

If his new terms include paying for background checks and pet deposits then you pay them if you want to remain.

 

There is nothing in the TX landlord tenant statute prohibiting or limiting either:

 

 

 

 

 

He states that the background checks are needed by his Homeowners Insurance Co. - does that sound right?

 

What difference does it make? He may just be blaming his insurance company to avoid argument or his insurance company may require or recommend it.

 

It doesn't matter.

 

If he wants the background check because he wants the background check, you allow it or you find another place to live.

Edited by Findlaw_FN

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No, I've never been a landlord before and based on all this, I don't wanna be, EVER!

 

 

I sold mine 18 years ago and was happy to get away from it.

 

 

 

I am guessing years of stupid and uncooperative tenants have caused lawmakers to create these type of laws.

 

Read the statute I posted. There's plenty of tenant protection in there, too.

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I appreciate and thank everyone for their replies to my post regarding this situation.

 

Here's the story behind it all, if you're interested...

 

Basically the new owner is running off everyone in this building.

 

The previous owner is in his 70's, so I can't blame him for selling the place. Very nice man and fun to talk too, has lots of great stories.

 

The business downstairs was also owned by the previous landlord, he sold it to the guy who worked with him for several years, probably 20 or so.

 

The old guy was hesitant to sell and only did so when the new guy promised not to make people move. But as soon as the papers were signed, he flipped the script on everyone.

 

The new owner decided to double the rent the business downstairs pays and move him and his secretary to the back of the building in a small cramped area, because he wants to rent out the other part in the front with the windows for the same amount per month he's charging the business (cramped area) downstairs from us.

 

They are not happy and he is looking for new office space for his business.

 

We are not happy with the rent increase and the deposits situation and we also are looking for a new place. We cordially agreed to a 90 day period for this, since we have a teenager in high school and want to limit distractions.

 

The new owner wants to renovate and turn the house part into section 8 apartments. We are just a mere 2 or 3 blocks from the ghetto area.

 

There's a place across the street at the corner that's for Office Space and has been available to rent since we moved in here over 9 years ago.

 

This new guy could have easily just left things as they were and slightly increase the rent of everyone and easily made 2,000 a month in rental fees.

 

He paid about 250,000 for it all.

 

But, by the summer he might have ZERO coming in.

 

I often wonder, does he just love to fix things up? like those house flipping shows on HGTV?

We live in a hurricane area and the population dropped 20% after the last one hit and flooded half the town, including this building (3 ft of water).

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There's no telling why people do what they do. I can't imagine why anybody would want Section 8 tenants.

 

I used to get asked if I took Section 8 and I'd reply that I'd have to be Section 8 to take Section 8.

 

I always found that funny because the term Section 8 refers to a category of discharge from the United States military, that of a member judged mentally unfit for service. It also came to mean any service member given such a discharge or behaving as if deserving such a discharge, as in the expression, "he's a Section 8". The term comes from Section VIII of the World War II-era United States Army Regulation 615-360, which provided for the discharge of those deemed unfit for military service.

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Can he ask for us to pay for background checks and pet deposits as well?

 

He can do anything that he has done, and you said he has done this.

 

 

 

I am guessing years of stupid and uncooperative tenants have caused lawmakers to create these type of laws.

 

What "type of laws"?  The only thing we've been discussing in this thread are laws that don't exist (but which you thought did exist).  Thus, the issue here is not the creation of any law or type of law.  Rather, it is the non-existence of a law or type of law that you wish existed.

 

The relationship between a landlord and a tenant is a contractual relationship between two private parties.  Absent an applicable law, that relationship is governed entirely by the terms of the contract between the parties.  In your case, you apparently have no contract.  That being the case, the laws applicable to month-to-month tenancies apply.  Your new landlord apparently wants a written contract and has proposed certain terms.  If you and he can't come to agreement, then he can evict you according to the laws applicable to month-to-month tenancies.  It's really that simple.

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It may entirely be legal for what he has done but I just don't think it was the right thing to do to someone.

 

When the old owner sold the property to the new guy, he told him that he wanted us out and wanted to renovate the place.

 

Our old owner said, don't do that to those people, they are good people and never cause problems and have never been late with the rent in 9.5 years.

 

Then the new owner said, I will need to increase the rent by $600 a month then, once again, our old owner stressed to him that they may not be able to afford it.

 

Our old owner also told him that he could be without tenants, business and residential for months, that he should keep us and not drastically increase the residential rent.

 

So the new owner agreed to a $1250 residential rent for us

 

We met with him to discuss the rent of $1250 per month, my wife asked if we could gradually increase the rent, the new owner agreed verbally to $900 for March, $1100 for April and $1250 for May. He also asked for Background checks at $20 per adult and we verbally agreed to pay that fee. He then said, he would forward the application for background checks via email later that night. Nothing else was discussed at this meeting.

 

A few hours later, we received the email and in that email he hits us with the security deposit of $1250 and the pet deposits per pet of $300.

 

What made him think that we could afford to pay a security deposit and a pet deposit per pet if we are negotiating lower rents for March and April? Maybe he knew we couldn't and this was a legal way to get us out (by us not agreeing to his new contract terms).

 

Even though the law allows for it, I don't think it's right to ask anyone to pay a deposit after so many years already living there.

 

After we paid January's rent we had $7 in the bank account

After we paid February's rent we had $18 in the bank account

 

Maybe we can't afford to live her anymore, but still, this all just burns me up and it burns a lot of my friends up as well. We are all in agreement that this was simply the wrong thing to do to someone.

 

In addition, the business owner downstairs, he is also mad and is looking for a new office warehouse location.

 

That's all, end of rant, part 2

Brian

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