Recover Your Security Deposit!
Defeat your landlord in small claims court–just like we did.

Table of Contents
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Preface - Home Page
Foreword - by Ken Carlson, tenant attorney

PART I: Some basic guidelines
1. Break your lease
2. Get your security deposit returned

PART II: Prepare for small claims court
3. Learn your state’s landlord tenant law
4. Contact former and current tenants
5. Organize your evidence
6. Consult with an attorney
7. Write a rebuttal to landlord’s claims
8. Create a presentation folder
9. File a lawsuit; or defend against one
10. Testify, and win, in small claims court
11. Collect the judgment

PART III: Winning presentation folder
12. Follow our lead (eBook)
13. Front cover (eBook)
14. Small claims lawsuits (eBook)
15. Plaintiff’s clams (eBook)
16. Defendant’s rebuttal (eBook)
17. Move-in, move-out timeline (eBook)
18. Landlord tenant law violations (eBook)
19. Photographic evidence (eBook)
20. Exhibits (eBook)
21. Conclusion (eBook)
22. Court ordered judgment (eBook)

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Larry Cook, Author of this website
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Even though Marilyn and I had a complete victory in small claims court against her former landlord, Marilyn is out $1,400 in expenses and I’m out 200 hours of time due to Mr. Peterson’s lawsuits and the retention of Marilyn’s security deposit. That’s a lot of money and time we invested to ensure we would defeat a corrupt landlord. You wouldn’t believe the amount of research I did to try and shut down Mr. Peterson. Criminal charges can’t be filed. He can’t be sued. And he has every legal right to continue to scam his current tenants out of their money, just as he has done to numerous past tenants. Perhaps your frustration is as great as ours in your situation?

Well, the first step is to beat your landlord in court — just like we did — as I’ve outlined in this book. But why stop there? Why not raise a ruckus with the lawmakers in your state and demand that they enact laws that allow either the government (via criminal charges) and/or citizens (via civil lawsuits) to legally shut down corrupt landlords?

Dear Larry: Just wanted to say thanks. Your website/book helped us win in court. I spent several hours preparing our binder and felt very organized going into court. Looking around we saw everyone else come in with loose papers just like you had said. We felt very prepared, but unfortunately the judge hardly looked at our binder. He just looked at what the landlord lacked as proof and awarded us judgement. Although the binder wasn't the deciding factor, it sure did help us have the confidence to stand up to our landlord in court. ~ Sincerely, Tonia Baily

Larry helped me get my deposit back from my slumlord. I highly recommend his presentation folder and expertize. I would not have received a dime without his help! Heather Hoffman Kimel

Just because you won in court (and you must win in court!) doesn’t mean that your landlord is going to stop going after other tenants. It’s a game to the landlord — they win some and lose some. That’s why I think it is so important to let the rest of the tenants in your building know what your landlord is doing, and what they can do to recover their security deposit after they move out. It’s also a good idea to introduce them to this web site.

When we were in court waiting our turn to testify, it appeared to us that Mr. Peterson was filling out yet more small claims lawsuits. He’s a tenacious one, that’s for sure. In fact, even after being utterly defeated by us in court, he sent Marilyn more letters demanding she continue to pay rent for the vacant apartment (which he refused to re-rent by convincing prospective tenants not to take over Marilyn’s lease). What audacity: he’s trying to set her up for another lawsuit which he probably plans to file against her after her lease has expired.  [Note: though we later discovered he told another tenant he would file another lawsuit, he never did.] He has done this to at least two other former tenants.

Let me say that unless and until you and others like you do something to stop corrupt landlords, they’ll just keep going their merry way exploiting one tenant after another. Unfortunately, the only sure way to stop them is to enact legislation that gives either citizens and/or the state government the authority to sue or press criminal charges, respectively. On top of that we need to change the landlord tenant laws of each state so that they stipulate that the landlord must follow the law or else they lose all rights to claim any deductions for any reason. What’s so difficult about that? Either follow the law or lose your rights to keep the security deposit. To me, it’s a no-brainer. To unscrupulous landlords, it’s death to their corrupt ways, and of course they’ll fight tooth and nail to stop such legislation.

Good luck, and win in court!

Larry Cook