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Landlord Keeping Security Deposit

For a little background, I'm in a somewhat strange situation considering my landlord is also my roommate and that I never signed a lease with him but have been paying in cash (his request) on a month to month basis. Yesterday, I gave notice to my landlord that I would be moving out by the end of the month and that he could keep my security deposit (equal to one month's rent) for the last month rather than me paying for my final month and having him return the deposit to me later. This is the precedent he set with a previous tenant. To my surprise, he responded that he would be holding the deposit and still requiring that I pay for my last month because of HIS bike getting stolen from his storage room in the basement a year ago. My landlord/roommate let me borrow his bike over a year ago, and when I went to put it in his storage room before leaving for the summer, I found that the lock to his door was locked but not to anything. So, I locked the bike to a chair in the storage room and left for the summer, closing (but obviously couldn't lock) the storage door behind me. Sometime between then and the start of the new school year, he notified me that his bike had been stolen.  Am I responsible for my landlord's property getting stolen from his basement storage room that only he had a key to? Am I required to pay him anything else considering we don't have a contract? If I return and immediately move my stuff out and then leave without paying him anything else, what will be the ramifications? Lastly, do I have any recourse?  Sincerely, Worried Tenant

I’m not sure you will receive any advice on what to do and rightfully so. But here’s some information that might interest you. Any money received for rent must be reported to the IRS on Sch E tax form as income. You stated he requested rent be paid in “cash”. Interesting! If property is treated as “Rental”, other deductions MUST be declared such as depreciation. If not declared, the IRS forces that deduction anyway. Did you know that the IRS rewards individuals 30% who report tax evasion? This may be known as “leverage”……. A discussion with LL about your financial situation may be best conducted once you have moved, quietly.  -----Disclaimer: Since I’ve been answering a lot of questions, I thought I would make the following statement. I’m not affiliated with EZlandlord Forms. I’m just here (not sure how long) to help those that have questions. Having 40+ yrs with Rental Property and done well, it’s my way of “Pay it Forward (check out the movie).” However, it is up to you to become familiar with your State/Local laws. I always like to know if the suggestions I offer are helpful. Feel free to comment anytime. Thanks in Advance.
Well I for one I am impressed and hopefully the individual who posted "Landlord Keeping Security Deposit" read your post. I look forward to reading more of your advice to others.   For now my the only concern is if I am entitled to a day of rent if it is the same day they turned in the keys and did their Final Walk Through Move/Out?   Ethically I don't believe I do, but these young guys as sweet as they were cost me well over $700 in repairs during their stay not including the gate one of their vistors backed into and broke. Long story short at the end of their lease after considerable upgrades painting of outside and new A/C I rasied the rent and they moved. I didn't have the heart to tell them they weren't good tenants and I didn't want to renew their lease. Not doing as well as most. Tons of debt on up grades and repairs but surviving. Increased rents, have mostly good tenants that are loyal and helpful. Site mangers are my angels and assist me with pictures and advertisement word of mouth. Use Craig's list, - I found newspapers are  a waste of money. I have network with other owners that are managing their rentals - only they are locally I am not. So any suggestions appreciated since I am an out of state landlord.  mj
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