even if the tenant trashed the property 2 The landlord must pay the tenants

Even if the tenant trashed the property 2 the

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even if the tenant trashed the property; 2. The landlord must pay the tenant's reasonable attorney's fees for the suit; 3. The landlord is liable for three times the portion of the deposit wrongfully withheld, plus $100. Cessation of Ownership What happens if the landlord is holding security deposits and the property is sold or title changes hands? §92.105 addresses this situation: § 92.105. CESSATION OF OWNER'S INTEREST. a. If the owner's interest in the premises is terminated by sale, assignment, death, appointment of a receiver, bankruptcy, or otherwise, the new owner is liable for the return of security deposits according to this
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subchapter from the date title to the premises is acquired, regardless of whether notice is given to the tenant under Subsection (b) of this section. b. The person who no longer owns an interest in the rental premises remains liable for a security deposit received while the person was the owner until the new owner delivers to the tenant a signed statement acknowledging that the new owner has received and is responsible for the tenant's security deposit and specifying the exact dollar amount of the deposit. c. Subsection (a) does not apply to a real estate mortgage lien holder who acquires title by foreclosure. Joint Responsibility §92.105 points out the importance of the security deposits being transferred to the new owner if the property is sold. The new owner is liable for the return of the security deposits. If the closing agent fails to transfer the security deposits, the new owner is still liable. The statute makes it the joint responsibility of the new owner and the original owner to protect the tenant's security deposit by not letting the old owner off the hook until the new owner delivers a signed statement acknowledging that the new owner has received and is responsible for the tenant's security deposit. Security Deposits in Commercial Leases It is important to note that the provisions of Chapter 92 regarding security deposits do not apply to commercial leases. The common view is that business landlords and tenants will negotiate at arm's length the terms of the security deposit and that commercial tenants are not as susceptible to landlord overreaching as with residential tenants. For comparison, we have reproduced a typical commercial lease provision regarding security deposits. Notice that in the commercial lease, the landlord is not required to put the security deposits into a separate account. The landlord may require the tenant to increase the security deposit as the rent increases. There are a number of other provisions in the commercial lease that would not be legal for a residential landlord to include in the residential lease. Sample Commercial Provisions Tenant has deposited with Landlord the sum set forth in Paragraph 10 of the Lease Summary (the "Deposit") as security for the full and faithful performance of each and every obligation of Tenant pursuant to the provisions of this Lease to be performed by Tenant, and any renewals or extensions of this Lease, if any. In each instance when the
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