Rental deposit not returned, any legal recourse?

CoreyH

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Mar 5, 2010
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I am just wondering if there is any legal recourse if your deposit is not returned. I know that they're not worth the paper that they're printed on, but we do have signed contracts.
 

Criss Colon

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Jan 2, 2002
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Any smart renter, "Lives Out" his security deposit.
If it's 3 months deposit, you don't pay rent the last 3 month, etc.
You will NEVER see your deposit.

ONLY the lawyer make money in legal battles here!
YOUR MONEY!:cry::cry::cry::cry::cry::cry::cry::cry:

CCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCC

We will now hear from some DR Spin Doctors who will say that they always get their deposit back.
Ask them if they will pay you your deposit if your landlord doesn't?????
 

DRDone

Member
Sep 29, 2014
293
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I am just wondering if there is any legal recourse if your deposit is not returned. I know that they're not worth the paper that they're printed on, but we do have signed contracts.
The Dominican way would be to do at least as much in damage as the security deposit. Too late now.
 

bigbird

Gold
May 1, 2005
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Any smart renter, "Lives Out" his security deposit..........
I don't doubt what you say is probably true in many cases but I did get my two months rent deposit back about two days after I vacated the premises. I rented through a rental managing agent. Once the apartment was restored to it's original condition and I received a letter from edenorte my electric bill was paid in full I received a check (which did not bounce).

I think if I had rented directly from the individual who owned the apartment I would have lived out the security.
 

bob saunders

Platinum
Jan 1, 2002
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As landlords we've had it go both ways. We have given the deposit back and we've had people just not pay for the last couple of months. Certainly most Dominicans seem to prefer to live out their deposit.
 

Marcion

*** Sin Bin ***
Nov 22, 2014
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I figured this problem out years ago and have applied it to many islands.

"Your 'security deposit' is that I'm a gringo. And if you don't maintain the apartment you'll be talking to (name drop some General or Police Captain). No likey? Adios."

Never, ever directly give locals a deposit. I may allow for SLIGHT wiggle room with a rental agency but only if desperate.
 

jd426

Gold
Dec 12, 2009
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This is a country where many RETAILERS and even Restaurants, especially in tourist areas or like on the beach cant even make Cambio.
This used to frustrate me beyond belief at first...
Point is , they cant even make change,, so expecting them to hold on to, and then RETURN a $$ Deposit, months or years later is kind of laughable if you really think about it. That money was spent long ago.
 

curlando

Bronze
Jul 23, 2003
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Negotiate and get part of your deposit back. You're not going to get the whole deposit back.
 
Aug 6, 2006
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I don't know anyone who ever got all their deposit back in the US.
I imagine it is even harder to do in the DR.
 

nyc dad

Bronze
Jul 28, 2011
723
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Any smart renter, "Lives Out" his security deposit.
If it's 3 months deposit, you don't pay rent the last 3 month, etc.
You will NEVER see your deposit.

ONLY the lawyer make money in legal battles here!
YOUR MONEY!:cry::cry::cry::cry::cry::cry::cry::cry:

CCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCC

We will now hear from some DR Spin Doctors who will say that they always get their deposit back.
Ask them if they will pay you your deposit if your landlord doesn't?????

With all due respect, CC, I got my two months back, but then again, my landlord was from New Jersey.
 

cjp2010

New member
Mar 25, 2013
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Sorry to say, I honestly don't think legal recourse will be worth your time. The deposit lost can't be that great. You'll likely spend close to the same on lawyer fees if you have a good lawyer that will actually get your deposit back to you. You could try to take it on without a lawyer, but if you don't speak very good Spanish that is not possible. And if you don't at least have residency, preferably citizenship going against a native will be difficult on your own. So I would take it as a lesson learned and plan to deal with it differently the next time.

And this is coming from someone who has been in court here against a Dominican for an un-related issue and I won. After all of that I still don't advise doing it.

I never expect to get back my deposit and that isn't just a DR thing. Once I give someone else money I don't expect to see it again. So rule #1 for me is to never pay more than one-month rent as a deposit. Some people try to get two here so you just have to refuse and find another place if they are not agreeable to only one month.

Then I just consider it part of the rent cost and if I think the place is worth it then I'm happy. If I think the place isn't worth the few extra dollars in rent per month that the deposit would average out to be then I find another place. Also, when it is time for me to leave I don't clean and if anything is broken I don't worry about fixing it. It's what the deposit is for. I would not intentionally go out of my way to break stuff but I just leave it as it is.

All of that said I actually did get back a large part of my deposit when I left a place a year ago. I was surprised. I had been there for three years. They deducted for cleaning but didn't even deduct for a couple of small items that were broken. The deposit was only RD $25,000 to begin with and I ended up getting back $22,000 and was very happy with that. And they were Dominican landlords in a majority Dominican neighborhood.

But I do not expect it to ever happen again. In fact I'm getting ready to move out of my current place to my dream location that has opened up and I'm not expecting to get back one penny here. I have rented three previous places here and got my deposit back only on the one. Suspect I'll be one for four soon but we'll see.

Even when I rented in the U.S. back in my younger days I did not get back the majority of the deposit. The charges for cleaning were always way over-inflated and anything the landlords could add in (even stuff that should have been their responsibility) to subtract from the deposit would show up. Sure it would have been easier to take them to court in the U.S. but I never did even there. The time you waste going through that isn't worth the money you'll get back. So if you won't want to do it there you certainly won't want to do it here.
 

chic

Silver
Nov 20, 2013
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yeh thats kind of a joke getting money from locals ha ha ha their mission is to get yours....
 
May 29, 2006
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It seems the norm to regard the security deposit as a entry fee into the rental, unless you are dealing with ex-pats. Another question would be if you rented for the full term of the lease, which if you didn't you could end up owing the landlord for lost rent for the remainder of the term.
 

donluis99

Bronze
Jul 12, 2004
721
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well, I agree with most opinions given about getting the denied deposit back, use it up, but, the first 2 places here, rented, paid 4 months rent, but 1 month goes to lawyer, that leaves month on deposit, moved out almost 2 years later, both times I presented my
deposit receipt and was paid within a couple days.

g'luck!
 

VJS

Bronze
Sep 19, 2010
846
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36
I got my full deposit back directly from Dominican landlords 3 times out of 3 so far. I am always prepared for plan B though, if they dont pay up: either stay longer if I have that flexibility or to do some serious damage to the place otherwise.
 

LTSteve

Gold
Jul 9, 2010
5,450
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I am just wondering if there is any legal recourse if your deposit is not returned. I know that they're not worth the paper that they're printed on, but we do have signed contracts.
Buyer beware. You have to be sure you are dealing with an above board party. Did you have them check you out and inspect the apartment to make sure there was no perceived damages. If you did not then it's on you. If you had done this than there probably would be no surprises in regards to your deposit.
 

sushimonger

Newbie
Jul 10, 2017
2
0
0
This is a country where many RETAILERS and even Restaurants, especially in tourist areas or like on the beach cant even make Cambio.
This used to frustrate me beyond belief at first...
Point is , they cant even make change,, so expecting them to hold on to, and then RETURN a $$ Deposit, months or years later is kind of laughable if you really think about it. That money was spent long ago.


Yes this never ceases to amaze me. Dominican businesses are so ...inexplicable [sp] in general.
 

Blueceo

Member
Nov 1, 2015
192
22
18
Sorry to hear that Corey but common here. We have rented 4 places in Santo Domingo and one in Juan Dolio. Got the deposit back each time after moving out in Santo Domingo (One Spaniard, the rest Dominican) but in Juan Dolio had a hell of a time. Kept getting the run around until I had an attorney friend of mine call them and threaten. Within two days was able to pick up deposit. If you don't know an attorney have some native speaking Dominican with a strong voice call and act like one. They're good at yelling and fighting so will probably love to do it for you for a cerveza or two. Going to court would be a complete waste of time and money.
 

DR Solar

Bronze
Nov 21, 2016
1,156
140
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This thread is several years old and many things have changed. I suggest that it be closed. Come have moved and some hav died. RIP.

Ty.