fire-escape-on-old-apartment

Security Deposit claim filed against you? Respond in 4 easy steps with Zeyo

We are able to help you resolve your small claims dispute about 10 times faster than small claims court by using online arbitration.

Apr 04, 2019
Joe De Larauze
Joe De Larauze

Has one of your tenants recently moved out of one of your units and decided to file a claim against you? Are they disputing your right to keep part (or all) of their security deposit? Have they claimed that they left the place clean and intact, even though you disagree? This situation is bound to come up for any landlord, and things can get pretty hairy if you are not prepared. But there can be an upside to this: if your tenant uses Zeyo to file their claim you, this process can be much smoother for the both of you.


Zeyo is a private online court that provides a quick, simple, and just way to resolve disputes online. Our process is neutral, confidential, much faster than going to court, and provides a legally binding, court enforceable judgment. As a private court, we are neutral and provide the same resources to you as we do to your opponent.


While having a claim filed against you for anything is a pain, we believe that you should be able to resolve this situation without a hassle. This is why Zeyo makes the experience intuitive, quick, and as pleasant possible. Whether you or your tenant is in the right, we will take you through the entire process in just a few steps. This is why it is worth responding to your tenant’s claim.


Here’s how to do it with Zeyo in four steps:

 

1. Being ahead of the game
    • Your tenant is required to give you at least 30 days notice that they are moving out. If they do not do this, you’re entitled to charge them rent accordingly.
    • Make sure you filled out a pre-move inspection checklist. This will give you a basis for comparison after your tenant moves out, and possibly validate your keeping the deposit, if you notice damages.
    • Be present as a landlord. Being open to communication with your tenants can go a long way, especially when it comes to unit maintenance. If your tenant brings maintenance issues to your attention (a broken dishwasher, bathroom mold), be responsive and proactive. Not doing so will count against you in a dispute.
    • The tenant has one year to request their security deposit be returned, if you keep it. After that period, the statute of limitations will have expired.
    • Overall, know the lease inside out, so you are well aware of your rights. If you are the person who drafted it, this should be easy to do.

2. Make your case
    • Once you’ve received the claim via Zeyo, state your response in detail
    • Submit any evidence (photos, videos, documents) electronically and add any witnesses you would like to testify. This may include emails exchanged between your tenant and yourself, establishing an agreement between you. Though official documents are preferable, Zeyo will consider this evidence.  
    • Know your rights. A standard rule is that you may only keep part or all of the deposit for damages above the normal wear and tear. As mentioned in step 1, it’s your responsibility to replace any disused amenities. But if your tenant broke a window fixture, or chipped wood from the floor, that’s on them.

 

michael-soledad-1427644-unsplash

 

3. Schedule your hearing or settle

    • If you decide to settle the case without a hearing, Zeyo will offer you a 15% discount off the original claim amount.
    • If you choose to pursue an online hearing, an arbitrator (who will decide the outcome) will be assigned to your case. Online hearings typically last 30 minutes, and will be scheduled at a time that is convenient for you and your tenant.

 

4. Attend your hearing

    • During your video conference hearing, a trained, neutral arbitrator will hear your case, review the evidence, and render a binding and court-enforceable judgment. If you’ve covered your bases (step 1), this should be an smooth process
    • If you receive a ruling in your favor, congratulations!
    • If you happen to lose the case, Zeyo will direct you to a payment page.

That’s all it takes! Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) platforms like Zeyo tend to be much faster than traditional litigation, simpler to navigate, and entirely online. You have better things to do than spend excessive amounts of time, money, and energy to resolve a simple matter. Though being taken to court is never a fun experience, Zeyo can lessen the pain by making your security deposit dispute quick, cheap, and stress-free.


Any questions? Drop us a note at support@zeyo.co.