Posted by Rich-CA on May 26, 2007 at 13:18:08:
An idea: is your rent above the market for the unit?
What I would do is:
(1) Add up the option fee and rent contributions earmarked for down payment.
(2) Add that amount to the security deposit.
(3) Subtract the amounts for back rent, late fees, repairs.
(4) Return the balance.
Lay this out in detail, present to Judge as evidence you are being fair but not willing to eat repair and lost income costs. Be prepared to “give away” the late fees. Even “friendly” jurisdictions often reduce or toss these anyway.
This method will indicate your willingness to return the option fee but that you want your losses covered first.
Be honest, friendly, cooperative and above board. It really influences people and helps get results much better than you would normally get.