I have my former roommate's security deposit. I don't know his new address. How do I get him the money slash how long do I have to keep trying to contact him before I'm allowed to give up and keep it for myself?
posted by phunniemee to work & money (35 answers total)
The entire security deposit was in my name. I paid the security deposit directly to the landlord two years prior when I moved in and signed the lease with a previous roommate. Previous roommate paid me her half. When previous roommate moved out and the new guy moved in, the new guy paid his half to the previous roommate. So, half was "mine" and half was "his", but it was all mine in the eyes of the landlord.
OK, so fast forward a very uncomfortable year (roommate and I had a lot of problems: he was messy and irresponsible, I was never around) and we both moved out August 31. Knowing that I would be getting the full deposit from the landlord (and knowing I had no intentions of hanging out with him post-move out), I started asking him at the beginning of August for his forwarding address. He didn't know his plans yet, but said he'd give me his new address when he had one.
So far, so good. At the end of the month, after he has made solid plans, I start asking him again. He keeps saying, "well, I don't remember the exact address, but I'll email it to you." OK, fine. I email him once prior to officially moving out, reminding him that I'll eventually need his address. No response. I ask him a few more times in person.
On the day when I am physically moving out (arms full of stuff, walking down stairs) he says to me, "oh, let me give you my address, it's "55-- or, maybe 56-- 03? 2? [Street Name] St." I say, "no, don't tell me right now, there is NO way I'm going to remember that, can you write it down?" And he says, "send me an email reminding me to email it to you." I emailed him that night, and got no response.
Since then I have emailed him ten times (most in the last week, since I got the security deposit from the landlord last Tuesday), called him three times (his phone goes straight to voicemail), and texted him. I asked the landlord and she has no idea what his forwarding address is. (As far as she is concerned, her job is done; he was a pain in the ass tenant for her, so I'm sure she is glad to be rid of him.)
This is a large amount of money (over $700), so I am really surprised that I haven't heard ANYTHING from him at all, despite how flaky and irresponsible he is.
1) What other paths can I take to get in contact with him? I don't have contact information for anyone in his family. A mutual friend of ours hasn't heard from him in a while. I only have his email address and his phone number, neither of which have been successful so far. I know the neighborhood he's living in now, and could narrow it down to within maybe a square mile, but absolutely nothing else. He has my email address (actually a couple), my phone number, my new address, our landlord's contact info, and contact info for my boyfriend and a number of my friends, so he could get in touch with me in a number of ways at any time.
2) I intend to keep trying to contact him hardcore (at least one attempt per day) for the next month. How long do I have to keep trying? If I don't ever hear from him, could he potentially call me on this a year from now, five years from now demanding his money? Is there a statute of limitations on having a deadbeat roommate? Would this still be considered a security deposit with tenants or is it now basically a debt between friends?
What do you all suggest I do next?
This is in Chicago. (Illinois) (USA) (Planet Earth, completely unbeknownst to the former roommate, apparently.)