Can someone help me get my escrow back from my former Landlord?

Ok here's the deal. My brother and I rented a house for almost 4 1/2 years and when we signed the original lease it was a one year lease. After the first year the rent was to go up 5% and we were going to be on a month-to-month basis. Now that we decided to move because we bought a house, we are told we are not getting our escrow back because we owe back rent. According to the Landlord, the rent was supposed to go up 5% each year and he forgot to collect throughout our time being there. Also the year we moved in we had some plumbing issues and were told not to contact him (the Landlord) to call the maintenance guy only. So we did and he would never return our calls or show up for going on a week. So after multiple calls leaving messages saying we will hire a plumber, we had no choice but to get our plumbing working properly and decided to call a plumber (mind you it was the day before Thanksgiving) and were able to get one place to call us back. Unfortunately they were coming from about an hour or so away. They fixed the problem and we had to pay right then and there. So we put the receipt with the difference of the rent together and gave that to the Landlord. He says because he never authorized us to get it done he will not pay for it. So he is adding that to the total of what he says we owe. I feel that because nobody would fix it or at least call us back we are not responsible. Especially due to the fact that the reason we had the issue is because when the maintenance guy fixed a different problem with the plumbing he knocked some rust loose inside the pipes. We learned this from the Plumbers who fixed the new problem. My other comment/question is that the Landlord offered to sell us the house right before we told him we were leaving. And we did not move for another month and a half. So why did he not bother to mention this to us until we were gone for a month (2 1/2 months after we told him we were leaving)? What are my options? I don't want to get screwed from a Landlord again because I don't have all right tools. Thank you.

Update:

Sorry for not having separate paragraphs.

As far as the plumbing, is there something somewhere saying a house has to have working plumbing? Especially in a rental property. I mean no hot water? In late November? Come on.

2 Answers

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favourite answer

    Don't you believe in paragraphs?

    He can't get the back rent. He had to give you notice of the increased rent 30 days prior to it going into effect, even if the lease clearly states it will go up.

    He did not do that, and he can't cry about it now.

    You contracted for that plumber, that bill is yours. Leaving a voice mail that you are going to do something does not give you the legal right to up and do it.

    You will need to take him to small claims court. You will recover your deposit, less the rent owed from when you shorted the landlord for the plumbing work you had no right to force him to pay.

  • 1 decade ago

    Your former landlord is a numbskull.

    Take him to small claims and sue for your deposit back. He will look really foolish in front of the judge saying how he *forgot* to charge you the additional 5% rent increase..duh..he will also look pretty stupid acting as though it was your responsibility to pay a plumber for HIS house.

    He has no legs to stand on.

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