Renter, owner clash over deposit amount

New owner is on the hook for tenant's past payment

Q: I live in a small apartment complex that recently changed ownership. I was not that worried about a new owner until I gave notice that I will be moving out next month at the end of my lease. I told the owner I wanted to know what I can do to get my full $1,500 security deposit back, expecting him to give me a list of cleaning requirements. But I was very surprised when he told me that I have only a $1,200 security deposit per the records he received from the prior owner. His position is that since that is the amount he received, that is all I am potentially entitled to.

I know that I paid a $1,500 deposit, because when I moved in four years ago the required security deposit was 1 1/2 months’ rent. I even pulled out a copy of my move-in paperwork and the canceled check, but he insists that is my problem and I need to contact the prior owner. What should I do?