Skip Navigation
DHCA logo
Smoke Alarm Law
English / Spanish (Español)

Decisions and Orders for Security Deposit Cases
All: 2011 - 2015

This page contains summaries of Decisions and Orders for Security Deposit cases made by the Commission on Landlord-Tenant Affiars (COLTA).  To view the summary, click on the Case Number.  To view the complete Decision and Order, click on the Case Number contained in the summary.

Case # Case Name Date Order Issued Prevailing Party/Award
33933 Sherita Williams vs. Jitendra and Raj Motwani Jan. 31, 2014 Tenant $2,041.03
33953 Stephanie Friedman vs. Ashgar Minai Nov. 25, 2013 Tenant $3,168.77
33616 Ekechi Greenidge vs. Thelma Thompson Oct. 25, 2013 Tenant $2,887.45
33656 Regan Sweeney vs. Melvin Eck July 16, 2013 Tenant $2,880.00
33607 Melanie Merrion vs. Laurence Taff and Lois Feingold-Taff July 3, 2013 Tenant $11,215.00
33574 Dorothy Pitts vs. William Perry Apr. 11, 2013 Tenant $1,583.20
33503 Richard Judy, Jr. and Courtney Biefeld vs. Dian John Mar. 8, 2013 Tenant $3,862.00
33425 Santiago Gomez-Acebo vs. Abraham and Ellene Dabela Feb. 14, 2013 Tenant $12,109.54
33420 Tauna Stinson vs. Douglas Avison Feb. 6, 2013 Landlord Dismissed
33385 Christopher and Elizabeth Haine vs. Anna Gatling Nov. 21, 2012 Tenant $2,612.50
33191 Nina Waters-Sherrod vs. Cheryl Curry Martin Nov. 20, 2012 Tenant $8,863.55
33015 Hye Sook Min vs. Ketki Seth June 4, 2012 Tenant $9,579.00
33041 Becaye Traore and Magne Diop vs. James Mack May 25, 2012 Tenant $1,954.09
32900 Francis and Tracey Chiricosta vs. William and Kyle Walsh May 11, 2012 Tenant $1,769.25
32757 Gabriel Schmidbauer and Kristen Penman vs. Ardeshir Badr and Marie Mauel Mar. 2, 2012 Tenant $3,279.50
32755 Flora and Linje Nankhuni vs. Laura Reiff Feb. 20, 2012 Tenant $1,034.25
32682 Tiffanie Bryant vs. Samuel N. Smith Feb. 3, 2012 Tenant $909.93
32736 Stephanie and David Morrow vs. Gayle Carey Dec. 22, 2011 Tenant $478.80
32598 Tabrizian vs. Estrada Dec. 20, 2011 Tenant $1,677.59
32659 David Bergman and Anne Bergman vs. Teal Hyman Dec. 16, 2011 Tenant $5,017.26
32742 Rashidah Francisco vs. Pablo Fontana Dec. 15, 2011 Tenant $2,084.70
32615 Wan and Zhang vs. Shih Nov. 22, 2011 Tenant $1,276.00
32722 William Barry, Matthew Harmelin, Blair Coward, and, Kay Zaiser vs. Judith Koenick Nov. 17, 2011 Tenant $2,379.50
32592 Clarence Williams vs. Hla Hla Shih Nov. 9, 2011 Tenant $243.50
32486 Ben Peck vs. Holli Behrman Sept. 20, 2011 Tenant $1,372.50
32503 Natasha Graham vs. Roddy and Natasha Williams Aug. 23, 2011 Landlord Dismissed
32059 Akbar/Ahmed vs. Bain June 2, 2011 Tenant $3,180.00
32365 Steve and Lauren Boyle vs. Ygal and Ruhama Doron May 24, 2011 Tenant $1,615.10
31807 Alaa Kamel vs. Kathleen Moran May 18, 2011 Landlord Dismissed
32298 Jamal Stennett vs. Joy Brodie May 17, 2011 Tenant $1,690.70
32291 Sonya Christy and Teresa Rainey vs. Ramon Gonzalez, Cynthia Gonzalez and Andrea Fuentes May 11, 2011 Tenant $2,030.00
31522 Bowman vs. Lapkoff Jan. 3, 2011 Tenant $273.32

 

Case Summaries


Sherita Williams vs. Jitendra and Raj Motwani

Case #  33933
Date Order Issued  January 31, 2014
Subject  Security Deposit

Summary of Complaint
Sherita Williams (“Tenant”) filed a complaint in which she alleged that her former Landlords, Jitendra and Raj Motwani (“Landlords”), without legal basis, failed to notify her of the date and time of the walk-through inspection at the end of her tenancy; failed to return any portion of her security deposit plus accrued interest after the termination of her tenancy; and unreasonably assessed charges against her security deposit for damages that were pre-existing, not in excess of ordinary wear and tear or for which she was not responsible.
The Tenant was seeking an Order from the Commission that her Landlords refund her security deposit ($2,250.00) plus accrued interest, and a penalty of up to three times the amount unreasonably withheld.

Findings
The Commission found that the Tenant paid the Landlord a security deposit in the amount of $2,250.00, which accrued interest in the amount of $67.50 during her tenancy; in January 2013, the Tenant gave written notice to vacate which expired March 1, 2013; in February 2013, the Tenant extended her notice through March 31, 2013; the Tenant fully vacated the Property effective March 31, 2013, paying rent through that date; the Tenant’s tenancy terminated March 31, 2013; the Landlords had no obligation to notify the Tenant by certified mail of the time and date when the premises were to be inspected at the end of tenancy inasmuch as the Tenant failed to request an inspection by certified mail at least fifteen days prior to her March 31, 2013 move-out; on April 4, 2013 the Landlords conducted a walk-through inspection of the Property, and sent an itemization of estimated costs for damages to the Tenant by email; on May 17, 2013, the Landlords sent the Tenant an itemization of alleged damages to the Tenant by regular mail;  the Landlords failed to send the Tenant within 45 days (by May 15, 2013) after the termination of her tenancy, a written list of the damages claimed against the security deposit together with a statement of the cost actually incurred, therefore, the Landlords forfeited their right to withhold any portion of the Complainant’s security deposit for damages;   at the hearing, the Tenant acknowledged that she did not make payment of the final Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (“WSSC”) bill for the Property, and agreed to accept the deduction from the security deposit for the WSSC bill; the Landlords incurred actual costs in the amount of $276.47 for the WSSC bill for services provided during the Tenant’s tenancy; the Respondent’s actions did not rise to the level of egregiousness necessary to award a penalty.

The Order
The Commission ordered the Landlord to pay the Tenant $2,041.03, which sum represents the Tenant’s security deposit ($2,250.00), plus accrued interest ($67.50), less an unpaid WSSC bill ($276.47).d


Stephanie Friedman vs. Ashgar Minai

Case #  33953
Date Order Issued  November 25, 2013
Subject  Security Deposit

Summary of Complaint
Stephanie Friedman (“Tenant”) filed a complaint against her former landlord, Ashgar Minai (“Landlord”), in which she alleged that her Landlord constructively evicted her and, without legal basis, failed to return her security deposit plus accrued interest after the termination of her tenancy.

The Tenant sought an Order from the Commission for the Landlord to refund her entire security deposit ($2,400.00) plus accrued interest ($72.00), overpaid rent ($696.77) and a penalty of up to three times the amount wrongly withheld.

Findings
The Commission found that: (1) the Tenant paid the Landlord a security deposit in the amount of $2,400.00 at the commencement of the tenancy; (2) the tenant gave notice to the Landlord on January 7, 2013, that she would be vacating the property by the end of the month; (3) the Tenant paid January 2013 rent in full; (4) the Landlord took possession of the unit on January 23, 2013, thereby constructively evicting the Tenant, in violation of Section 29-32(c) of the County Code which caused a defective tenancy; (5) once the Landlord took possession of the property for his personal use, it was no longer a rental unit so he owed the tenant a rent credit of $696.77 for the period January 23-31, 2013; (6) the Landlord did not send the Tenant, to her last known address, an itemized list of damages claimed against the security deposit within 45 days after the termination of her tenancy, in violation of Section 8-203(g)(1) of the Real Property Article, Annotated Code of Maryland, 1999, as amended (“Real Property Article”); and (7) the withholding was unreasonable and willful, and violated Section 8-203 (e) (4) of the Real Property Article, but did not rise to the level of egregiousness necessary to award a penalty.

The Order
The Commission ordered the Landlord to pay the Tenant $3,168.77 which sum represents the Tenant’s security deposit ($2,400.00) plus accrued interest ($72.00), and a rent credit of $696.77.


Ekechi Greenidge vs. Thelma Thompson

Case #  33616
Date Order Issued  October 25, 2013
Subject  Security Deposit

Summary of Complaint
Ekechi Greenidge  (“Tenant”) filed a complaint alleging that her former landlord, Thelma Thompson (Landlord”): (1) failed to make requested/required repairs in a timely and professional manner, in violation of Section 29-30 (a)(3) of the Montgomery County Code, 2001, as amended (“County Code”); (2) failed to house her during the repair for a severe leak in the wall which rendered the unit uninhabitable in December 2012; (3) failed to reimburse her for the cost of belongings she had to discard as a result of the contractors’ failure to protect her belongings during repairs in December 2012; (4) failed to assure that the contractor cleaned the unit properly after repairs were completed, making it unsafe for her and her family to reside in the Condominium; (5) failed to return any portion of her security deposit plus accrued interest after the termination of her tenancy, in violation of Section 8-203 (f)(1), (g)(1) of the Real Property Article of the Maryland Code (1974, 2003 Repl. Vol., 2008 Supp.) (“Real Property Article”); and (6) failed to send her an itemized list of damages claimed against her security deposit within 45 days after the termination of her tenancy, in violation of Section 8-203 (e)(1) of the Real Property Article.

The Tenant was seeking an Order from the Commission for the Landlord to refund her entire security deposit ($1,800.00) plus accrued interest ($27.00) and compensation for damages she suffered as a result of the Landlord’s negligence. 

The Landlord contended that: (1) while there was a problem with her prior management company, she made arrangements and had repairs started as soon as she received the Tenant’s requests for repairs; (2) there is no evidence to support the Tenant’s allegation that the Condominium was unsafe for her or her family; and (3) no refund of security deposit or other funds are due back to the Complainant because she vacated without proper notice or legitimate reason.

Findings
The Commission found that: (1) The Landlord and Tenant signed a lease for rental of the property on February 1, 2012; (2) the Tenant paid a security deposit in the amount of $1,800.00 on February 1, 2012, to the Landlord’s first Agent, Ms. Cooper; (3) during her entire tenancy, the Tenant was a participant in the Housing Choice Voucher Program through the Housing Opportunities Commission (HOC);  (4) the Landlord and Tenant acknowledge that the Tenant’s toddler daughter, who was an occupant during the entire tenancy, had severe medical and respiratory problems and used oxygen on a 24 hour basis; (5) the Landlord and Tenant acknowledge that during the period from July 1, 2012 through September 30, 2012, the Tenant experienced numerous maintenance issues that were not properly addressed by the Landlord’s former Agent; (6) in September 2012, the Landlord terminated the employment of her former Agent and hired Angel Williams (“Agent”) as her new Agent; (7) based on the maintenance and management problems, the Landlord’s Agent, Ms. Williams, did not charge the Tenant for her portion of the rent during the period July 1, 2012 through September 30, 2012, and the Landlord agreed to this arrangement; (8) the Tenant reported a leak from the ceiling in her son’s bedroom to the property manager with instructions to contact her before any repair work was done; (9)  the Landlord was aware that the Tenant’s daughter’s medical equipment was there and the child was extremely ill; (10) during the Tenant’s entire tenancy, there was an “Oxygen in Use…” sign on her door due to her daughter’s delicate health condition; (11)  on December 5, 2012, in response to the Agent’s request, Servpro came to the Condominium to investigate and correct any problems associated with the reported leak; (12) neither Servpro nor the Landlord’s Agent contacted the Tenant before the commencement of any repair work; (13) there is no probative evidence to show that Servpro covered the Tenant’s belongings during the repair or took any care to shelter the Tenant’s daughter’s medical equipment during the repair process; thereby, rendering the medical equipment unusable, and the Condominium uninhabitable for the child; (14) the Tenant was advised by her daughter’s healthcare provider that her daughter could not be in the environment of the Condominium after the December 5, 2012 repairs because of her chronic liver disease; and that the medical equipment could no longer be used; (15)  after the December 5, 2012 repair, the Tenant’s daughter was hospitalized and her other children stayed with friends.  The Tenant and her family did not occupy the Condominium after December 5, 2012; (16) on or about December 13, 2012, the Tenant informed the Landlord of her intention to vacate the Condominium by December 31, 2012 because of the contamination of her belongings, the presence of mold, and the danger to her daughter’s health; (17) HOC conducted inspections of the Condominium on December 10, 2012 and December 14, 2012 and the Condominium failed both inspections based on incomplete repairs; (18) the Tenant’s inability to reside in the Condominium after Servpro’s work resulted in the constructive eviction of the Tenant as of December 5, 2012, and that based on the testimony, no further rental payments are owed by the Tenant to the Landlord; (19) based on the Landlord’s and Tenant’s testimony, it was agreed that the Tenant would not be held responsible for her portion of December 2012 rent and that she should use the December 2012 rent to take care of her family; (20) the Tenant officially vacated the Condominium on December 28, 2012 and returned her keys on that date, leaving the Condominium in clean condition with no damage in excess of ordinary wear and tear; (21) the Tenant incurred costs of $1,060.45 ($660.45 for movers and $400 for a new security deposit) as a result of her forced move from the Condominium; and (22) the Landlord failed to send the Tenant, at her last known address, an itemized list of damages claimed against the security deposit together with a statement of the costs actually incurred to repair that damage.

The Order
The Commission ordered the Respondent to pay the Complainants $2,887.45 which amount represents the Complainants entire security deposit ($1,800.00) plus accrued interest ($27.00) and  moving expenses ($660.45 for movers and $400 for a new security deposit).


Regan Sweeney vs. Melvin Eck

Case #  33656
Date Order Issued  July 16, 2013
Subject  Security Deposit

Summary of Complaint
Regan Sweeney (“Complainant”) filed a complaint against his former landlord Melvin Eck (“Respondent”), in which he alleged that the Respondent failed to return his security deposit interest after the termination of his tenancy.

The Complainant was seeking an Order from the Commission for the Respondent to refund his security deposit accrued interest in the amount of $960.00, and a penalty of up to three times the amount wrongly withheld.

The Respondent contended that the Complainant damaged the rental property in excess of ordinary wear and tear during his tenancy (8 years) and that he kept the security deposit interest to pay for the repair of the damages.

Findings
The Commission found that: (1) the Complainant paid the Respondent a security deposit in the amount of $2,000.00, and the last month’s rent in the amount of $2,0000, for a total of $4,000.00, at the commencement of the tenancy (June 17, 2004); (2) on July 30, 2012, the Complainant advised the Respondent of his intention to vacate the Property by September 30, 2012; (3) the Complainant vacated the Property on September 30, 2012, and the Respondent used $2,000.00 paid at the commencement of the tenancy to cover the last month’s rent; (4) the Respondent did not send the Complainant, to his last known address, an itemized list of damages claimed against the security deposit plus interest within 45 days after the termination of his tenancy; however, he did refund him the $2,000.00 security deposit; (5) the Respondent failed to disclose in the Lease agreement the Complainant’s rights regarding security deposit disposition – and included a notation to “forego interest on the security deposit”; both of which are contrary to Section 8-203, Security Deposits of the Real Property Article, Annotated Code of Maryland, 1999, as amended; and, (6) the Respondent’s actions to withhold $960.00 of accrued interest when there was: a) no proof of damages beyond normal wear and tear caused to the Property by the Complainant; b) no unpaid rent; and, c) no evidence of damage due to breach of lease; was willful, unreasonable and egregious enough to award a penalty in this case.

The Order
The Commission ordered the Respondent to pay the Complainant $2,880.00 which sum represents treble the accrued interest ($960.00) on the Complainant’s security deposit as damages for the unreasonably withheld amount ($960.00 x 3).  The Respondent paid per the Decision and Order on December 10, 2013.


Melanie Merrion vs. Laurence Taff and Lois Feingold-Taff

Case #  33607
Date Order Issued  July 3, 2013
Subject  Security Deposit

Summary of Complaint
Melanie Merrion (“Tenant”) filed a complaint against her former landlords Laurence Taff and Lois Feingold-Taff (“Landlords”), in which she alleged that her former Landlords, failed to send her an itemized list of damages along with costs actually incurred within forty-five days of her termination of tenancy; and, without legal basis, failed to return her security deposit plus accrued interest after the termination of her tenancy.

The Tenant was seeking an Order from the Commission for the Landlord to refund her security deposit ($6,000.00) plus accrued interest ($810.00), a penalty of up to three times the amount wrongly withheld, and attorneys fees in the amount of $2,775.00.

Findings
The Commission found that: (1) The Tenant paid the Landlords a security deposit in the amount of $6,000.00 at the commencement of the tenancy; (2) The Tenant failed to give the Landlord a proper notice to vacate; (3) The Landlords unreasonably denied the Tenant the right to sublet the Property, in violation of Section 29-27(q) of the Montgomery County Code, 2001; (4) The Landlords failed to make any effort to mitigate their damages by offering the Property for rent after the Tenant returned possession of the Property on November 1, 2012, in violation of Section 8-207(a) of the Real Property Article. Therefore the Tenant’s tenancy was terminated as of October 31, 2012; (5) The Landlords failed to send the Tenant, to her last known address,  within 45 days after the termination of her tenancy, a written list of the damages claimed against the security deposit together with a statement of the cost actually incurred, as required under Section 8-203(g)(1) and (2) of the Real Property Article.  Therefore, pursuant to Section 8-203 (g) (2), the Landlords forfeited their right to withhold any portion of the Tenant’s security deposit for damages; (6) The Landlords’ failed to return the Tenant’s security deposit ($6,000.00) plus accrued interest ($810.00) in the total amount of $6,810.00 within 45 days after the end of tenancy in violation of Section 8-203(e)(1) of the Real Property Article; (7) The Landlords failed to provide the Tenant, the Office of Landlord-Tenant Affairs and the Commission with evidence as to why there was a reasonable basis to withhold any portion of the Tenant’s security deposit plus accrued interest.  The record was devoid of any evidence to contradict the conclusion that the Landlords acted in bad faith; (8) The Commission concluded that the Landlords’: failure to provide an itemization of damages to the Tenant’s last known address; failure to mitigate damages for lost rent; failure to substantiate any actual costs incurred for repair of alleged damages after the Tenant’s termination of tenancy; and failure to refund the Tenant’s $6,810.00 security deposit plus accrued interest was willful, unreasonable and egregious; (9) The Commission concluded that the Landlords’ conduct rose to the level of bad faith and egregiousness necessary to award a penalty.  Therefore, an award of $4,405.00 as a penalty was granted; (9) An award of attorney’s fees was not granted in this case.

The Order
The Commission ordered the Landlords to pay the Tenants $11,215.00 which sum represented the Tenant’s security deposit ($6,000.00) plus accrued interest ($810.00), and a $4,405.00 penalty for the unreasonable withholding.


Dorothy Pitts vs. William Perry

Case #  33574
Date Order Issued  April 11, 2013
Subject  Security Deposit

Summary of Complaint
Dorothy Pitts (“Complainant”) filed a complaint against her former landlord, William Perry (“Respondent”), in which she alleged that the Respondent assessed unjust charges against her security deposit plus accrued interest after the termination of her tenancy.

The Complainant was seeking an Order from the Commission for the Respondent to refund the remaining balance of her security deposit plus interest, in the amount of $1,603.00, and a penalty of up to three times the amount wrongly withheld.

The Respondent contended that the Complainant damaged the rental property in excess of ordinary wear and tear during her tenancy and that the amount withheld from the security deposit was for actual cost incurred to repair those damages which justified the withholding of the security deposit plus accrued interest, less $146.00, which he returned to the Complainant.

Findings
The Commission found that: (1) the Complainant paid the Respondent a security deposit in the amount of $1,650.00 in five monthly installments from the commencement of the tenancy, September 2010 to January 2011; (2) on July 2, 2012, the Respondent, advised the Complainant of his intention to not renew her lease, (3) the Complainant vacated the Property on September 30, 2012, having paid rent in full through that date; (4) the Respondent sent the Complainant, to her last known address, an itemized list of damages claimed against the security deposit dated November 8, 2012, within 45 days after the termination of her tenancy, however; the Respondent included with the itemized list of damages, a Money Order dated November 19, 2012, 50 days after the termination of the Complainant’s tenancy, with a refund in the amount of $146.00; (5) the fact that the money order was included with the itemized list proves that the itemized list was issued after 45days, in violation of Section 8-203(g)(1) of the Real Property Article, Annotated Code of Maryland, 1999, as amended (“Real Property Article”); therefore, the Respondent forfeited the right to retain any portion of the deposit for damages pursuant to Section 8-203(g) (2) of the Real Property Article; and, (6) the Respondent’s actions did not rise to the level of egregiousness necessary to award a penalty.

The Order
The Commission ordered the Respondent to pay the Complainant $1,583.20 which sum represented the Complainant’s security deposit ($1,650.00) plus accrued interest ($79.20), minus the amount already refunded to the Complainant ($146.00).


Richard Judy, Jr. and Courtney Biefeld vs. Dian John

Case #  33503
Date Order Issued  March 8, 2013
Subject  Security Deposit

Summary of Complaint
Richard Judy, Jr. and Courtney Biefeld (“Complainants”) filed a complaint against their former landlord Dian John (“Respondent”), in which they alleged that the Respondent assessed unjust charges against their security deposit plus accrued interest after the termination of their tenancy.

The Complainants were seeking an Order from the Commission for the Respondent to return their entire security deposit plus accrued interest, in the amount of $2,862.00, a penalty of up to three times the amount wrongly withheld, and reasonable attorney’s fees.

The Respondent contended that the Complainants damaged the rental property in excess of ordinary wear and tear during their tenancy, and that she deducted the costs she incurred to repair that damage from the security deposit, which included a month’s rent.  Since the Complainants abandoned the Property one month earlier than the lease stipulated, the Complainants had an outstanding balance of $315.00 due to her.

Findings
The Commission found that: (1) the Complainants paid the Respondent a security deposit in the amount of $2,700.00 at the commencement of the tenancy (August  2010); (2) on June 6, 2012, the Respondent, offered to allow the Complainants to move-out one month earlier than what the lease stipulated without penalty; (3) the Complainants accepted the offer and vacated the Property on June 30, 2012, having paid rent in full through that date; (4) the Respondent sent the Complainants, to their last known address, an itemized list of damages claimed against the security deposit on August 15, 2012, 46 days after the termination of their tenancy, in violation of Section 8-203(g)(1) of the Real Property Article, Annotated Code of Maryland, 1999, as amended (“Real Property Article”); therefore, the Respondent forfeited the right to retain any portion of the deposit for damages pursuant to Section 8-203(g) (2) of the Real Property Article, (5) the Respondent’s actions did not rise to the level of egregiousness necessary to award a penalty; and, (6) an award of attorney’s fees was granted in this case.

The Order
The Commission ordered the Respondent to pay the Complainants $3,862.00 which sum represented the Complainants’ security deposit ($2,700.00) plus accrued interest ($162.00), plus $1,000.00 in attorney’s fees.


Santiago Gomez-Acebo vs. Abraham and Ellene Dabela

Case #  33425
Date Order Issued  February 14, 2013
Subject  Security Deposit

Summary of Complaint
Santiago Gomez -Acebo (“Complainant”) filed a complaint against his former landlords Abraham and Ellene Dabela (“Respondents”), in which he alleged that the Respondents assessed unjust charges against his security deposit plus accrued interest after the termination of his tenancy.

The Complainant was seeking an Order from the Commission for the Respondents to refund the balance of their entire security deposit plus accrued interest, in the amount of $5,054.77, a penalty of up to three times the amount wrongly withheld, and reasonable attorney’s fees.

The Respondents contended that the Complainant damaged the rental property in excess of ordinary wear and tear and they deducted the costs they incurred to repair that damage ($4,693.06) from the security deposit and returned the remainder ($52.73) to the Complainant.

Findings
The Commission found that: (1) the Complainant paid the Respondents a security deposit in the amount of $4,500.00 at the commencement of the tenancy (August 2007); (2) on May 15, 2012, the Complainant, who is a Diplomat, informed the Respondents of his intention to vacate the Property by June 30, 2012; (3) the Complainant vacated the Property on June 30, 2012, having paid rent in full through that date; (4) the Respondents sent the Complainant, to his last known address, an itemized list of damages claimed against the security deposit within 45 days after the termination of his tenancy; (5) the Respondents did not provide enough probative evidence that the damages claimed against the Complainant’s security deposit plus interest were in excess of ordinary wear and tear and/or that they were for actual cost incurred; (6) the Respondents failed to credit the Complainant’s security deposit with the correct amount of accrued interest ($607.50); (7) the Respondents’ actions did rise to the level of egregiousness necessary to award a penalty; and, (8) an award of attorney’s fees was granted in this case.

The Order
The Commission ordered the Respondents to pay the Complainant $12,109.54 which sum represented the Complainant’s security deposit ($4,500.00) plus accrued interest ($607.50), less the amount previously refunded ($52.73), plus $2,000.00 attorney’s fees, and a penalty of $5,054.77.


Tauna Stinson vs. Douglas Avison

Case #  33420
Date Order Issued  February 6, 2013
Subject  Security Deposit-Breach of Lease

Summary of Complaint
Tauna Stinson (“Complainant”) filed a complaint against her former landlord, Douglas Avison (“Respondent”) in which she alleged that the Respondent failed to return any portion of her security deposit plus accrued interest after the termination of her tenancy and charged her for rent that was not owed.

The Complainant was seeking an Order from the Commission for the Respondent to refund her entire security deposit ($1,800.00) plus accrued interest ($216.00) and a penalty of up to three times the amount wrongly withheld.

The Respondent contended that the Complainant did not damage the Property in excess of ordinary wear and tear, but that she breached the Lease by not allowing him to show the Property to potential tenants until after she vacated it.

Findings
The Commission found that: (1) the Complainant paid the Respondent a security deposit in the amount of $1,800.00 at the beginning of the tenancy (April 2008); (2) the Respondent sent the Complainant, to her last known address, an itemized list of damages claimed against the security deposit within 45 days after the termination of her tenancy, (3) the Complainant did not damage the property in excess of ordinary wear and tear; and, (4) there was enough probative evidence that the Complainant did breach the lease by not allowing the Respondent to show the Property during the last two month of her tenancy.

The Order
The Commission found that the Respondent properly assessed one month lost rent ($2,100.00) for damages due to breach of lease and that those costs exceeded the Complainant’s security deposit plus accrued interest ($2,016.00).  Therefore, Case No. 33420, Stinson v Avison was DISMISSED.


Christopher and Elizabeth Haine vs. Anna Gatling

Case #  33385
Date Order Issued  November 21, 2012
Subject  Security Deposit

Summary of Complaint
Christopher and Elizabeth Haine (“Complainants”) filed a complaint against their former landlord Anna Gatling (“Respondent”), in which they alleged that the Respondent, without legal basis, failed to return any portion of their security deposit plus accrued interest after the termination of their tenancy.

The Complainants were seeking an Order from the Commission for the Respondent to refund their entire security deposit ($2,500.00) plus accrued interest ($112.50) and a penalty of up to three times the amount wrongly withheld.

The Respondent contended that the Complainants damaged the rental property in excess of ordinary wear and tear and the costs she incurred to repair the damage exceeded the amount of the security deposit plus interest.

Findings
The Commission found that: (1) the Complainants paid the Respondent a security deposit in the amount of $2,500.00 at the commencement of the tenancy; and, (2) the Respondent did not send the Complainants, to their last known address, an itemized list of damages claimed against the security deposit within 45 days after the termination of their tenancy, in violation of Section 8-203(g)(1) of the Real Property Article, Annotated Code of Maryland, 1999, as amended (“Real Property Article”).  Therefore, the Respondent forfeited the right to retain any portion of the deposit for damages pursuant to Section 8-203(g) (2) of the Real Property Article.

The Order
The Commission ordered the Respondent to pay the Complainants $2,612.50 which sum represented the Complainants’ security deposit ($2,500.00) plus accrued interest ($112.50).


Nina Waters-Sherrod vs. Cheryl Curry Martin

Case #  33191
Date Order Issued  November 20, 2012
Subject  Security Deposit

Summary of Complaint
Nina Waters-Sherrod (“Tenant”) filed a complaint in which she alleged that her Landlord, Cheryl Curry Martin (“Landlord”), without legal basis, failed to return any portion of her security deposit plus accrued interest after the termination of her tenancy; and unreasonably assessed charges against her security deposit for damages that were not in excess of ordinary wear and tear or for which she was not resp9onsible.

The Tenant was seeking an Order from the Commission that her Landlord refund her security deposit ($7,400.00) plus accrued interest, and a penalty of up to three times the amount unreasonably withheld.

Findings
The Commission found that the Tenant paid the Landlord a security deposit in the amount of $7,400.00, which accrued interest in the amount of $222.00 during her tenancy.  The Tenant was responsible for a portion of the electric utility bill at the Property in the amount of $456.12. The Tenant was responsible for damages in excess of ordinary wear and tear to the master bedroom carpeting in the amount of $1,256.85.  The Landlord assessed charges against the security deposit for alleged utility costs and damages during the tenancy that were not the Tenant’s responsibility, and for damages that were not in excess of ordinary wear and tear, in violation of Section 8-203 (f) (1) of the Real Property Article. The Commission also found that the Landlord’s withholding was unreasonable, willful, and egregious and violated Section 8-203 (f) (4) of the Real Property Article. The Commission granted a penalty in favor of the Tenant in the amount of $2,954.52.

The Order
The Commission ordered the Landlord to pay the Tenant $8,863.55, which sum represents the Tenant’s security deposit ($7,400.00), plus accrued interest ($222.00), less damages in excess of ordinary wear and tear ($1,256.85) and electric utility bill ($456.12), plus a penalty ($2,954.52) for the unreasonable withholding of the remaining security deposit.


Hye Sook Min vs. Ketki Seth

Case #  33015
Date Order Issued  June 4, 2012
Subject  Security Deposit

Summary of Complaint
Hye Sook Min ("Tenant") filed a complaint in which she alleged that her Landlord, Ketki Seth ("Landlord"), without legal basis, failed to return any portion of her security deposit plus accrued interest after the termination of her tenancy.
The Tenant was seeking an Order from the Commission for the Landlord to refund her entire security deposit ($3,100.00) plus accrued interest and a penalty of up to three times the amount unreasonably withheld.

Findings
The Commission found that: (1) the Landlord did not send the Tenant, an itemized list of damages claimed against the security deposit within 45 days after the termination of the tenancy, in violation of Section 8-203(g)(1) of the Real Property Article, Annotated Code of Maryland, 1999, as amended ("Real Property Article"), (2) the Landlord forfeited the right to retain any of the deposit for damages pursuant to Section 8-203(g)(2) of the Real Property Article; (3) the Landlord failed to return to the Tenant, the security deposit ($3,100.00) plus accrued interest ($93.00) in the total amount of $3,193.00, within 45 days after the end of tenancy, in violation of Section 8-203(e)(1) of the Real Property Article; (3) based on the Landlord's failure to communicate any reasonable basis to withhold any portion of the Tenant's security deposit plus accrued interest, the withholding was unreasonable, willful, and egregious and pursuant to Section 29-47(b)(3) of the County Code, the Commission granted a two-fold penalty in favor of the Tenants.

The Order
The Commission ordered the Landlord to pay the Tenant $9,579.00, which sum represented the Tenant's security deposit ($3,100.00) plus accrued interest ($93.00) and a two-fold penalty ($6,386.00) for the unreasonable withholding of the security deposit.


Becaye Traore and Magne Diop vs. James Mack

Case #  33041
Date Order Issued  May 25, 2012
Subject  Security Deposit

Summary of Complaint
Becaye Traore and Magne Diop ("Complainants") filed a complaint against their former landlord James Mack ("Respondent"), in which they alleged that the Respondent assessed unjust charges against their security deposit plus accrued interest after the termination of their tenancy.

The Complainants were seeking an Order from the Commission for the Respondent to refund their entire security deposit ($1,850.00) plus accrued interest ($111.00), and a penalty of up to three times the amount wrongly withheld.

The Respondent contended that the Complainants damaged the rental property in excess of ordinary wear and tear and he deducted the costs he incurred to repair that damage from the Complainants' security deposit.

Findings
The Commission found that: (1) the Complainants paid the Respondent a security deposit in the amount of $1,850.00 at the commencement of the tenancy; (2) on June 29, 2011, Complainants advised the Respondent of their intention to vacate the Property by July 31, 2011, the end of the lease term; (3) the Complainants vacated the Property on July 31, 2011, having paid rent in full through that date; (4) the Respondent did send the Complainants, to their last known address, an itemized list of damages claimed against the security deposit within 45 days after the termination of their tenancy; (5) the Respondent did not provide any probative evidence that the damage claimed was in excess of ordinary wear and tear or that he incurred actual costs to repair said damage so these claims were not allowed; and (6) the Respondent's actions did not rise to the level of egregiousness necessary to award a penalty in this case.

The Order
The Commission ordered the Respondent to pay the Complainant $1,954.09 which sum represented the Complainant's security deposit ($1,850.00) plus accrued interest ($111.00), less the amount previously refunded ($6.91). The Respondents paid per the Decision and Order on June 28, 2012.


Francis and Tracey Chiricosta vs. William and Kyle Walsh

Case #  32900
Date Order Issued  May 11. 2012
Subject  Security Deposit

Summary of Complaint
Francis and Tracey Chiricosta ("Complainants") filed a complaint against their former landlords William and Kyle Walsh ("Respondents"), in which they alleged that the Respondents assessed unjust charges against their security deposit plus accrued interest after the termination of their tenancy.

The Complainants were seeking an Order from the Commission for the Respondents to refund their entire security deposit ($2,650.00) plus accrued interest ($119.25), a penalty of up to three times the amount wrongly withheld, and reasonable attorney's fees.

The Respondents contended that the Complainants damaged the rental property in excess of ordinary wear and tear and they deducted the costs they incurred to repair that damage ($1,650.00) from the security deposit and returned the remainder ($1,000.00) to the Complainants.

Findings
The Commission found that: (1) the Complainants paid the Respondents a security deposit in the amount of $2,150.00 at the commencement of the tenancy along with a $500.00 pet deposit for a total deposit of $2,650.00; (2) on June 27, 2011, Complainant Francis Chiricosta received military change of station orders and informed the Respondents of his intention to vacate by July 31, 2011; (3) the Complainants vacated the Property on July 31, 2011, having paid rent in full through that date; (4) per Respondent William Walsh's testimony, he did not send the Complainants, to their last known address, an itemized list of damages claimed against the security deposit within 45 days after the termination of their tenancy, in violation of Section 8-203(g)(1) of the Real Property Article, Annotated Code of Maryland, 1999, as amended ("Real Property Article"). Therefore, the Respondent forfeited the right to retain any portion of the deposit for damages pursuant to Section 8-203(g) (2) of the Real Property Article; (5) the Respondents failed to credit the Complainants' security deposit with the correct amount of accrued interest ($119.25); (6) the Respondents' actions did not rise to the level of egregiousness necessary to award a penalty; and (7) an award of attorney's fees was not warranted in this case.

The Order
The Commission ordered the Respondents to pay the Complainants $1,769.25 which sum represented the Complainants' security deposit ($2,650.00) plus accrued interest ($119.25), less the amount previously refunded ($1,000.00). The Respondents paid per the Decision and Order on May 15, 2012.


Gabriel Schmidbauer and Kristen Penman vs. Ardeshir Badr and Marie Mauel

Case #  32757
Date Order Issued  March 2, 2012
Subject  Security Deposit

Summary of Complaint
Gabriel Schmidbauer and Kristen Penman ("Tenants") filed a complaint against their former landlords Ardeshir Badr and Marie Mauel ("Landlords"), in which they alleged that their Landlords, without legal basis, failed to return their security deposit plus accrued interest after the termination of their tenancy.

The Tenants were seeking an Order from the Commission for the Landlord to refund their entire security deposit ($2,550.00) plus accrued interest ($84.00) and a penalty of up to three times the amount wrongly withheld.

Findings
The Commission found that: (1) the Tenants paid the Landlords a security deposit in the amount of $2,550.00 at the commencement of the tenancy; (2) the Tenants and Landlords agreed to terminate the tenancy on April 15, 2011, the end of their lease term; (3) the Tenants vacated the Property on April 15, 2011, having paid rent in full through that date; (4) the Landlord did not send the Tenants, to their last known address, an itemized list of damages claimed against the security deposit within 45 days after the termination of their tenancy, in violation of Section 8-203(g)(1) of the Real Property Article, Annotated Code of Maryland, 1999, as amended ("Real Property Article"); (5) the Landlord assessed charges against the security deposit for alleged damages that were not in excess of ordinary wear and tear, in violation of Section 8-203 (f) (1) of the Real Property Article; and (6) the Landlords failed to credit the Tenants' security deposit with interest that accrued in the amount of $229.50. The Commission found that the withholding of the deposit was unreasonable, willful, and egregious and violated Section 8-203 (f)(4) of the Real Property Article; therefore the Commission granted a $500.00 penalty in favor of the Tenants.

The Order
The Commission ordered the Landlords to pay the Tenants $3,279.50 which sum represented the Tenants' security deposit ($2,550.00) plus accrued interest ($229.50), and a $500.00 penalty for the unreasonable withholding. Respondent Marie Mauel appealed this Decision to the Circuit Court of Maryland on April 2, 2012. A hearing was held on July 31, 2012, and the Circuit Court dismissed the Landlord's appeal and upheld the decision of the Commission.


Stephanie and David Morrow vs. Gayle Carey

Case #  32755
Date Order Issued  December 22, 2011
Subject  Security Deposit

Summary of Complaint
Linje Nankhuni and Flora Nankhuni ("Tenants") filed a complaint in which they alleged that their former landlord, Laura Foote Reiff ("Landlord"): (1) assessed unjust charges against their security deposit; (2) failed to send them by first-class mail an itemized list of damages, together with a statement of the costs actually incurred to repair that damage, within 45 days after the termination of the tenancy; and (3) failed to incur actual costs for the charges assessed against the security deposit.

The Tenants were seeking an Order from the Commission to have the Landlord refund that portion of the security deposit withheld for alleged damages and a penalty of up to 3 times the unreasonably withheld amount.

The Landlord contended that: (1) the Tenants damaged the Property in excess of ordinary wear and tear during their tenancy; (2) she sent the Tenants an itemized list of damages by email within 45 days after the termination of the tenancy; and (3) she did incur actual costs for the charges which were assessed against the security deposit.

Findings
The Commission found that the Landlord did not send an itemized list of damages by first class mail to the Tenants within 45 days after the termination of Tenants' tenancy and, therefore, forfeited the right to retain any of the deposit for damages. However, in order for the Commission to award a penalty, as requested by the Tenants, pursuant to Section 29-47(b)(3) of the County Code, the Commission must consider the egregiousness of the Landlord's conduct in wrongfully withholding all or part of the Tenants' security deposit and whether or not the Landlord acted in bad faith or has a prior history of wrongful withholding of a security deposit. Based on the evidence, the Commission concludes that the Landlord's conduct did not rise to the level of bad faith or egregiousness necessary to award a penalty. Therefore, the Tenants' request for such an award is denied.

The Order
The Commission ordered the Landlord to pay the Tenants $1,034.25, which sum represents the portion of the Tenants' security deposit in the amount of $975.00 withheld for damages, plus accrued interest of $59.25.


Tiffanie Bryant vs. Samuel N. Smith

Case #  32682
Date Order Issued  December 22, 2011
Subject  Security Deposit

Summary of Complaint
Tiffanie Bryant ("Tenant") filed a complaint against her former landlord Samuel N. Smith Living Trust ("Landlord"), in which she alleged that the Landlord failed to disclose her rights in writing when she paid her security deposit, in violation of Section 8-203(f)(l)(vi) of the Annotated Code of Maryland, Real Property Article, 1999, as amended, and unreasonably withheld $887.50 from her security deposit plus accrued interest, in violation of Section 8-203(e)(l) of the Real Property Article.

The Landlord contended that: (1) the Tenant damaged the rental property in excess of ordinary wear and tear; and (2) the Tenant did not return the keys for three days and he charged rent for those days.

Findings
The Commission found that: (1) the Tenant terminated the tenancy in accordance with a valid Notice to Vacate, returned the keys timely, did not hold over three days and does not owe the Landlord any additional rent; and, (2) the Landlord did not advise the Tenant of her rights in writing at the time the security deposit was paid, and (3) did not send the Tenant, to her last known address, an itemized list of damages claimed against the security deposit within 45 days after the termination of her tenancy. Therefore, the Landlord forfeited the right to retain any portion of the deposit for damages.

The Order
The Commission ordered the Landlord to pay the Tenant $909.93 which sum represented the Tenant's security deposit ($745.00) plus accrued interest ($208.61), less $43.68 previously refunded.


Stephanie and David Morrow vs. Gayle Carey

Case #  32736
Date Order Issued  December 22, 2011
Subject  Security Deposit

Summary of Complaint
Stephanie and David Morrow ("Tenants") filed a complaint in which they alleged that their Landlord, Gayle Carey, without legal basis, assessed unjust charges against their security deposit plus accrued interest after the termination of their tenancy.

They were seeking an Order from the Commission that the balance of their security deposit plus accrued interest ($478.80) and a penalty of up to three times the amount unreasonably withheld be awarded.

Findings
The Commission found that: (1) the Landlord failed to pay the Tenants the correct amount of interest; and, (2) the Landlord did not send the Tenants, by first class mail, an itemized list of damages together with a statement of actual cost incurred within 45 days after the termination of their tenancy, in violation of Section 8-203(g)(1) of the Real Property Article, Annotated Code of Maryland, 1999, as amended ("Real Property Article"). Therefore, the Landlord forfeited the right to retain any of the deposit for damages pursuant to Section 8-203 (g) (2) of the Real Property Article.

The Order
The Commission ordered the Landlord to pay the Tenants $478.80 which sum represented the Tenants' security deposit ($3,190.00) plus accrued interest ($95.70), less the partial security deposit already refunded ($2,806.90).


Tabrizian vs. Estrada

Case #  32598
Date Order Issued  December 20, 2011
Subject  Security Deposit

Summary of Complaint
Mahin Tabrizian ("Tenant") filed a complaint in which she alleged that her former landlord, Joan A. Estrada Family Trust ("Landlord"), assessed unjust charges against her security deposit plus accrued interest after the termination of her tenancy. The Tenant was seeking an Order from the Commission that the Landlord refund the withheld portion of her security deposit.

The Landlord contended that the Complainant damaged the Property in excess of ordinary wear and tear during her tenancy and that the amount withheld from the security deposit was for actual costs incurred to repair those damages.

Findings
The Commission found that the Landlord failed to provide any probative evidence in support of her claims that the Tenant damaged the Property in excess of ordinary wear and tear.

The Order
The Commission ordered the Landlord to pay the Complainant $1,677.59 which sum represents the Complainants' security deposit ($1,900.00) plus accrued interest ($142.50) minus the amount already paid to the Tenant ($364.91).


David Bergman and Anne Bergman vs. Teal Hyman

Case #  32659
Date Order Issued  December 16, 2011
Subject  Security Deposit

Summary of Complaint
David Bergman and Anne Bergman ("Tenants") filed a complaint in which they alleged that their Landlord, Teal Hyman ("Landlord"), without legal basis, failed to return any portion of their security deposit plus accrued interest after the termination of their tenancy.

The Tenants were seeking an Order from the Commission that their Landlord refund their security deposit ($2,600.00) plus accrued interest, less 14 days unpaid rent, and a penalty of up to three times the amount unreasonably withheld.

Findings
The Commission found that: (1) the Tenant owed fourteen days rent at the termination of their tenancy, in the total amount of $966.58, which, pursuant to Section 8-203(f)(1)(i) of the Real Property Article, Annotated Code of Maryland, 1999, as amended ("Real Property Article"), may be withheld from the security deposit plus accrued interest; (2) the Landlord did not send the Tenants an itemized list of damages claimed against the security deposit within 45 days after the termination of the tenancy, in violation of Section 8-203(g)(1) of the Real Property Article; (3) the Landlord forfeited the right to retain any of the deposit for damages pursuant to Section 8-203(g)(2) of the Real Property Article; (4) the Landlord failed to return to the Tenants, the security deposit ($2,600.00) plus accrued interest ($39.00), less fourteen days unpaid rent ($966.58), in the total amount of $1,672.47, within 45 days after the end of tenancy, in violation of Section 8-203(e)(1) of the Real Property Article; (5) based on the Landlord's failure to communicate any reasonable basis to withhold any portion of the Tenants' security deposit plus accrued interest, the withholding for damages was unreasonable, willful, and egregious and pursuant to Section 29-47(b)(3) of the County Code, the Commission granted a two-fold penalty in favor of the Tenants.

The Order
The Commission ordered the Landlord to pay the Tenant $5,017.26, which sum represents the Complainants' security deposit ($2,600.00), plus accrued interest ($39.00), less fourteen days of unpaid rent ($966.58), and a two-fold penalty ($3,344.84) for the unreasonable withholding of the security deposit.


Rashidah Francisco vs. Pablo Fontana

Case #  32742
Date Order Issued  December 15, 2011
Subject  Security Deposit

Summary of Complaint
Rashida Francisco ("Tenant") filed a complaint in which she alleged that her Landlord, Pablo Fontana, without legal basis, failed to return any portion of her security deposit plus accrued interest after the termination of her tenancy.

She was seeking an Order from the Commission that her Landlord refunds her entire security deposit ($1,495.00) plus accrued interest and a penalty of up to three times the amount unreasonably withheld.

Findings
The Commission found that: (1) the Landlord did not send the Tenant, an itemized list of damages claimed against the security deposit within 45 days after the termination of the tenancy, in violation of Section 8-203(g)(1) of the Real Property Article, Annotated Code of Maryland, 1999, as amended ("Real Property Article"); and, (2) the Landlord did not provide any evidence or documentation in support of the retention of the security deposit. Therefore, the Landlord forfeited the right to retain any of the deposit for damages pursuant to Section 8-203(g)(2) of the Real Property Article.

The Order
The Commission ordered the Landlord to pay the Tenant $2,084.70 which sum represented the Tenant's security deposit plus accrued interest and a penalty of $500.00 for the unreasonable withholding of the security deposit.


Wan and Zhang vs. Shih

Case #  32615
Date Order Issued  November 22, 2011
Subject  Security Deposit

Summary of Complaint
Haiyan Wan and Yayun Zhang ("Tenants") filed a complaint against their former landlord, Cheng Ping Shih ("Landlord") in which they alleged that the Landlord: (1) agreed to an early termination of the lease; (2) failed to send them, by first-class mail, an itemized list of damages, together with a statement of the costs incurred to repair the damage, within 45 days after the termination of their tenancy, and (3) failed to credit their security deposit with accrued interest after the termination of their tenancy.

The Tenants were seeking an Order from the Commission that their Landlord refund the withheld portion of their security deposit, interest on the security deposit, and a penalty of up to 3 times the unreasonably withheld amount.

The Landlord contended that: (1) the Tenants breached the lease by vacating the property prior to the expiration of the lease agreement; (2) he attempted to mitigate the damages as a result of the Tenants' early termination; (3) the Tenants owed rent as a result of the early termination; and (4) the Tenants damaged the Property in excess of ordinary wear and tear.

Findings
The Commission found that: (1) the Landlord and the Tenants had a verbal agreement to terminate the tenancy on April 30, 2011; (2) the Landlord did not send the Tenants, by first-class mail directed to their last known address, an itemized list of damages claimed against the security deposit within 45 days after the termination of their tenancy, and therefore forfeited the right to retain any of the deposit for damages; (3) the Landlord failed to pay the Tenants $168.00 interest on their security deposit; and (4) the Landlord's failure to handle and dispose of the Tenants' security deposit plus accrued interest in compliance with applicable law caused a defective tenancy. The Commission also found that the Respondent's conduct did not rise to the level of bad faith or egregiousness necessary to award a penalty.

The Order
The Commission ordered the Landlord to pay the Tenants $1,276.00 which sum represents the Tenants' security deposit of $1,400.00 plus accrued interest of $168.00 minus the amount already paid to Tenants, $292.00.


William Barry, Matthew Harmelin, Blair Coward, and, Kay Zaiser vs. Judith Koenick

Case #  32722
Date Order Issued  November 17, 2011
Subject  Security Deposit

Summary of Complaint
William Barry, Matthew Harmelin, Blair Coward and Kay Zaiser ("Tenants") filed a complaint against their former landlord Judith Koenick ("Landlord"), in which they alleged that their Landlord, without legal basis, failed to return their security deposit plus accrued interest after the termination of their tenancy.

The Tenants were seeking an Order from the Commission for the Landlord to refund their entire security deposit ($2,800.00) plus accrued interest ($84.00) and a penalty of up to three times the amount wrongly withheld.

Findings
The Commission found that: (1) the Tenants paid the Landlord a security deposit in the amount of $2,800.00 at the commencement of the tenancy;(2) the Tenants held over three days at the end of their tenancy, for which they owed rent ($276.15); (3) the Tenants did not pay the Property's final water bill ($92.19); (4) the Landlord did not send the Tenants, to their last known address, an itemized list of damages claimed against the security deposit within 45 days after the termination of their tenancy, in violation of Section 8-203(g)(1) of the Real Property Article, Annotated Code of Maryland, 1999, as amended ("Real Property Article"); and, (5) the Landlord assessed charges against the security deposit for alleged damages that were not in excess of ordinary wear and tear, in violation of Section 8-203 (f) (1) of the Real Property Article. The Commission also found that her withholding was unreasonable, willful, and egregious and violated Section 8-203 (f) (4) of the Real Property Article. The Commission granted a one fold penalty in favor of the Tenants.

The Order
The Commission ordered the Landlord to pay the Tenants $2,379.50 which sum represented the Tenants' security deposit ($2,800.00) plus accrued interest ($84.00), less three days of unpaid rent ($276.15), an unpaid water bill ($92.19), the refund already received by the Tenants ($1,325.91); and, a one fold penalty of the amount unreasonably withheld ($1,189.75).


Williams vs. Shih

Case #  32592
Date Order Issued  November 9, 2011
Subject  Security Deposit

Summary of Complaint
Clarence Williams ("Tenant") filed a complaint against his former landlord, Hla Hla Shih ("Landlord") in which he alleged that the Landlord: (1) assessed unjust charges for carpet damage against his security deposit; (2) failed to send him an itemized list of damages, together with a statement of the costs actually incurred to repair that damage, within the 45 days after the termination of his tenancy and (3) failed to credit his security deposit with accrued interest after the termination of his tenancy.

The Tenant was seeking an Order from the Commission that his Landlord refund the withheld portion of his security deposit, interest on the security deposit, and a penalty of up to 3 times the unreasonably withheld amount.

His Landlord contends that: (1) the Tenant damaged the carpet in excess of ordinary wear and tear; and (2) that the Tenant owes a late fee in the amount of $72.50 for October 2010 rent.

Findings
The Commission found that: (1) the Landlord did not send the Tenant, by first- class mail directed to his last known address, an itemized list of damages claimed against the security deposit within 45 days after the termination of his tenancy, and therefore forfeited the right to retain any of the deposit for damages; (2) the Landlord did not incur actual costs for damages which were assessed against the Tenant's security deposit; (3) the Landlord failed to pay the Tenant $43.50 interest on his security deposit; (4) the Landlord was not entitled to collect late fees; and (5) the Landlord's failure to handle and dispose of the Tenant's security deposit plus accrued interest in compliance with applicable law caused a defective tenancy.

The Order
The Commission ordered the Landlord to pay the Tenant $243.50 which sum represents the portion of the Tenant's security deposit withheld for carpet damage.


Ben Peck vs. Holli Behrman

Case #  32486
Date Order Issued  September 20, 2011
Subject  Security Deposit

Summary of Complaint
Ben Peck ("Complainant") filed a complaint against his former landlord Holli Behrman ("Respondent"), in which he alleged that the Respondent, without legal basis, failed to return any portion of his security deposit plus accrued interest after the termination of his tenancy.

The Complainant was seeking an Order from the Commission for the Respondent to refund his entire security deposit ($1,500.00) plus accrued interest ($22.50) and a penalty of up to three times the amount wrongly withheld.

The Respondent contended that the Complainant damaged the rental property in excess of ordinary wear and tear and the costs she incurred to repair the damage exceeded the security deposit.

Findings
The Commission found that: (1) the Complainant paid the Respondent a security deposit in the amount of $1,500.00 at the commencement of the tenancy;(2) the Complainant held over three days at the end of his tenancy, for which he owed rent; and, (3) the Respondent did not send the Complainant, to his last known address, an itemized list of damages claimed against the security deposit within 45 days after the termination of his tenancy, in violation of Section 8-203(g)(1) of the Real Property Article, Annotated Code of Maryland, 1999, as amended ("Real Property Article"). Therefore, the Respondent forfeited the right to retain any portion of the deposit for damages pursuant to Section 8-203(g) (2) of the Real Property Article.

The Order
The Commission ordered the Respondent to pay the Complainant $1,372.50 which sum represented the Complainant's security deposit ($1,500.00) plus accrued interest ($22.50), minus three days rent ($150.00).


Natasha Graham vs. Roddy and Natasha Williams

Case #  32503
Date Order Issued  August 23, 2011
Subject  Security Deposit

Summary of Complaint
Natasha Graham ("Complainant") filed a complaint against her former landlords, Roddy and Natasha Williams ("Respondents") in which she alleged that the Respondents failed to return any portion of her security deposit plus accrued interest after the termination of her tenancy and charged her for repair of defective conditions which existed at the beginning of her tenancy.

The Complainant was seeking an Order from the Commission for the Respondent to refund her entire security deposit ($1,456.00) plus accrued interest ($109.20).

The Respondents contended that the Complainant damaged the Condominium in excess of ordinary wear and tear and the costs they incurred to repair that damage exceeded the security deposit.

Findings
The Commission found that: (1) the Respondents did send the Complainant, to her last known address, an itemized list of damages claimed against the security deposit within 45 days after the termination of her tenancy, (2) the Complainant did damage the property in excess of ordinary wear and tear; (3) the Respondents did incur costs in the amount of $2,623.24, to repair that damage; and, (4) the Respondents' costs incurred ($2,623.24) exceeded the Complainant's security deposit ($1,456.00) plus accrued interest ($109.20).

The Order
The Commission found that the Respondents properly assessed repair costs of ($2,623.24) against the Complainant and that those costs exceeded the Complainant's security deposit plus accrued interest ($1,565.20). Therefore, Case No. 32503, Graham v Williams was DISMISSED.


Akbar/Ahmed vs. Bain

Case #  32059
Date Order Issued  June 2, 2011
Subject  Security Deposit

Summary of Complaint
Sameer Akbar and Humera Ahmed ("Complainants") filed a complaint against their former landlords, Maria Fe Bain and Paul Bain ("Respondents") in which they alleged that the Respondents: (1) without a reasonable basis failed to refund any portion of their security deposit plus accrued interest after the termination of their tenancy; and (2) failed to send them an itemized list of damages, together with a statement of the costs actually incurred to repair that damage, within 45 days after the termination of their tenancy.

The Complainants were seeking an Order from the Commission that the Respondents refund their $3000.00 security deposit plus the accrued interest.

The Respondents contended that: (1) they sent an itemized list of damages, together with a statement of the costs actually incurred to repair that damage, within the 45 days after the termination of the Complainants' tenancy; (2) the Complainants damaged the Property in excess of ordinary wear and tear and the costs they incurred to repair that damage exceeded the security deposit; and (3) the Complainants owed for unpaid utilities.

Findings
The Commission found that: (1) the Respondents did not send the Complainants, to their last known address, an itemized list of damages claimed against the security deposit within 45 days after the termination of their tenancy, and therefore forfeited the right to retain any of the deposit for damages; (2) the Respondents failed to substantiate that they incurred actual costs for the utilities which were assessed against the Complainants' security deposit; and (3) the Respondents' failure to handle and dispose of the Complainants' security deposit plus accrued interest in compliance with applicable law caused a defective tenancy.

The Order
The Commission ordered the Respondents to pay the Complainants $3,180.00 which sum represents the Complainants' security deposit ($3,000.00) plus accrued interest ($180.00).


Steve and Lauren Boyle vs. Ygal and Ruhama Doron

Case #  32365
Date Order Issued  May 24, 2011
Subject  Security Deposit

Summary of Complaint
Steve and Lauren Boyle ("Complainants") filed a complaint against their former landlords Ygal and Ruhama Doron ("Respondents") in which they alleged that the Respondents, without legal basis, assessed unjust charges against their security deposit plus accrued interest after the termination of their tenancy.

The Complainants were seeking an Order from the Commission that the Respondents refund them the balance of their security deposit plus accrued interest ($2,896.08) and a penalty award of up to three times the amount unreasonably withheld.

The Respondents contended that the Complainants damaged the rental property in excess of ordinary wear and tear and that the amount they withheld from the security deposit plus interest was for actual cost incurred to repair the damages.

Findings
The Commission found that: (1) the Complainants damaged the Property in excess of ordinary wear and tear; and, (2) the Respondents did incur costs to repair the damages.

The Order
The Commission ordered the Respondents to pay the Complainants $1,615.10 which sum represented the Complainants' security deposit ($5,100.00) plus accrued interest ($153.00), less validly assessed deductions ($1,280.98) and the partial security deposit already refunded ($2,356.92).


Alaa Kamel vs. Kathleen Moran

Case #  31807
Date Order Issued  May 18, 2011
Subject  Security Deposit

Summary of Complaint
Alaa Kamel ("Complainant") filed a complaint against his former landlord, Kathleen Moran ("Respondent") in which he alleged that the Respondent failed to return any portion of his security deposit plus accrued interest after the termination of his tenancy and charged him for improvements made to the property in preparation for its sale.

The Complainant was seeking an Order from the Commission for the Respondent to refund his entire security deposit ($2,100.00) plus accrued interest ($220.50).

The Respondent contended that the Complainant damaged the Property in excess of ordinary wear and tear and the costs she incurred to repair that damage exceeded the security deposit.

Findings
The Commission found that: (1) the Respondent did send the Complainant, to his last known address, an itemized list of damages claimed against the security deposit within 45 days after the termination of his tenancy, per the State security deposit law; (2) the Complainant did damage the property in excess of ordinary wear and tear; (3) the Respondent did incur costs in the amount of $2,755.52, to repair that damage; (4) the Respondent failed to credit the Complainant's security deposit with appropriate interest; and (5) the Respondent's costs incurred ($2,755.52) exceeded the Complainant's security deposit ($2,100.00) plus accrued interest ($220.00).

The Order
The Commission found that the Respondent properly assessed repair costs of ($2,755.52) against the Complainant and that those costs exceeded the Complainant's security deposit plus accrued interest ($2,320.50). Therefore, Case No. 31807, Kamel v Moran was DISMISSED.


Jamal Stennett vs. Joy Brodie

Case #  32298
Date Order Issued  May 17, 2011
Subject  Security Deposit

Summary of Complaint
Jamal Stennett ("Complainant") filed a complaint against her former landlord Joy Brodie ("Respondent") in which she alleged that the Respondent, without legal basis, failed to return any portion of her security deposit plus accrued interest after the termination of her tenancy.

The Complainant was seeking an Order from the Commission that the Respondents refund her entire security deposit ($1,595.00) plus accrued interest and a penalty award of up to three times the amount unreasonably withheld.

The Respondent contended that the Complainant damaged the rental property in excess of ordinary wear and tear and the costs she incurred to repair the damage absorbed almost the entire security deposit.

Findings
The Commission found that: (1) the Complainant paid the Respondent a security deposit in the amount of $1,595.00 at the commencement of the tenancy; (2) the Respondent did not send the Complainant, an itemized list of damages claimed against her security deposit within 45 days after the termination of her tenancy, in violation of Section 8-203(g)(1) of the Real Property Article, Annotated Code of Maryland, 1999, as amended ("Real Property Article"). Therefore, the Respondent forfeited the right to retain any of the deposit for damages per Section 8-203(g)(2) of the Real Property Article.

The Order
The Commission ordered the Respondent to pay the Complainant $1,690.70 which sum represented the Complainant's security deposit plus accrued interest based on a one year tenancy.


Sonya Christy and Teresa Rainey vs. Ramon Gonzalez, Cynthia Gonzalez and Andrea Fuentes

Case #  32291
Date Order Issued  May 11, 2011
Subject  Security Deposit

Summary of Complaint
Sonya Christy and Teresa Rainey ("Complainants") filed a complaint against their former landlords Ramon Gonzalez, Cynthia Gonzalez and Andrea Fuentes ("Respondents") in which they alleged that the Respondents, without legal basis, failed to return any portion of their security deposit plus accrued interest after the termination of their tenancy.

The Complainants were seeking an Order from the Commission that the Respondents refund their entire security deposit ($2,000.00) plus accrued interest, and a penalty award of up to three times the amount unreasonably withheld.

The Respondents contended that the Complainants damaged the rental property in excess of ordinary wear and tear and the costs they incurred to repair the damage exceeded the security deposit.

Findings
The Commission found that: (1) the Complainants paid the Respondents a security deposit in the amount of $2,000.00 at the commencement of the tenancy; (2) the Respondents did not send the Complainants, an itemized list of damages claimed against their security deposit within 45 days after the termination of their tenancy, in violation of Section 8-203(g)(1) of the Real Property Article, Annotated Code of Maryland, 1999, as amended ("Real Property Article"). Therefore, the Respondents forfeited the right to retain any of the deposit for damages per Section 8-203(g)(2) of the Real Property Article.

The Order
The Commission ordered the Respondents to pay the Complainants $2,030.00 which sum represented the Complainants' security deposit plus accrued interest based on a eight month tenancy.


Bowman vs. Lapkoff

Case #  31522
Date Order Issued  January 3, 2011
Subject  Security Deposit

Summary of Complaint
Miriam Elizabeth Bowman and Judy Bowman ("Complainants"), filed a complaint alleging that their former landlords, Theodore and Sharon Lapkoff ("Respondents") unreasonably assessed charges in the amount of $1009.40, against their $1750.00 security deposit, for damages that were not in excess of ordinary wear and tear and that were not tenant responsibility.

The Complainants were seeking an Order from the Commission that the Respondents refund the withheld amount of their security deposit plus accrued interest.

The Respondents contended that (1) the Complainants failed to properly caulk a bathroom prior to their move-out for which they incurred costs to repair; (2) the Complainants failed to return the key to the basement door for which they incurred costs to replace; (3) the Complainants caused a flood in the Apartment, which resulted in extensive damage to the Property for which they incurred costs to repair. The Respondents asserted that no additional refund of the security deposit plus accrued interest is due and that the charges assessed represent costs actually incurred for damages.

Findings
The Commission found that: the Respondents did incur costs for basement key replacement and repair of physical damages in excess of normal wear and tear to the Property.

The Order
The Commission ordered the Respondents to pay the Complainants $273.32, which sum represents the Complainants' security deposit ($1750.00) plus accrued interest ($78.85) less validly assessed deductions ($735.00) and the partial security deposit already returned ($820.53).