1638 8th Ave. South, Fargo, ND + Kurt Kollman

When we originally leased the property the landlord did not show up for the walk through. He just left the door unlocked and a key on the counter. We couldn’t wait to move in as we had arrived from across the country with all our stuff and pets in tow. The house was filthy (brown tub, cigarette wrappers on floor, food spilled in fridge, chicken bones in oven, cat hair/dust in radiators, giant can of dog feces) and broken down washers and dryers and couches were left behind. We took pics and notified him and he gave us $100 cleaning fee off the first month’s rent (I have the cancelled check), and removed one set of the washers and dryers. We had to handle the rest. After we had been renting for 8 months, the landlord listed the home for sale, while I was 8 months pregnant. We had to show the home 3 days after I came home from the hospital! So, we decided to move and notified him we were looking. He said that we would be responsible for the remainder of the lease until it was re-rented. We paid through June, but made plans to leave beginning in May and notified him. We told him we anticipated being out in June but would let him know when. He came by the last week of May while we were still packing and said all looked good, even though we weren’t even finished cleaning yet, except the yard needed to be mowed. If we did that we would get our deposit back.. I left the end of May to stay with family. My husband stayed behind to work out a notice and finish packing. Then he left out of town for a job interview the first week of June. While we were gone the neighbor called and said someone else had moved in and they couldn’t get to our stuff they were going to get out and store for us. We contacted the landlord and were told that was untrue. We have sworn statements from the neighbor stating that the new tenant moved in mid-June (they helped move in the furniture and his child played with theirs in the evening daily). The landlord kept our deposit on the grounds that the house was left a mess. We reminded him that we were paid through June and weren’t finished moving out and cleaning up, but that it was not a mess anyway. The neighbors will attest to that as well, as they cut the grass for us. That was all he said. He did not provide an itemized statement of what the deposit was being held for. He did state in writing that we were released from the last month of our lease since he had a new tenant. Long story short, we have all correspondence with him in writing. We were not ever told where our deposit was being held, and were not given specifics as to why he didn’t return it. Please help!