(WSVN) - He got shot six times. Fortunately, he survived, and since he didn’t feel safe, he moved out of his apartment, but does his landlord have to return his security deposit because he got shot there? Let’s bring in Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser for the answer.
You have probably heard people say it about the place they rent.
Gerald Wynn: “It was comfortable. It was nice, quiet. You know.”
But if you see someone on Help Me Howard, you can bet that phrase that nice and quiet is followed by until…
Gerald Wynn: “A guy walked by and asked me, did I need help changing the tire. I said, no, I got it. I briefly got a glance at him, but I paid no attention.”
Then the guy that offered to help Gerald change his tire, changed his life.
Gerald Wynn: “One, two, three, four, five, six. I got grazed twice in the head and got grazed up here.”
Gerald had been shot six times. Six gunshot wounds, one through his leg shattering the bone.
Gerald Wynn: “I can tell you that it ain’t no fun getting shot. This was a hole that was down to the bone. That’s, that’s a hell of an experience there, man. I wouldn’t wish that upon nobody.”
That was in October.
After he got out of the hospital, Gerald and his wife told the landlord they were moving out of the apartment and going to live with a relative.
Gerald Wynn: “Didn’t feel safe. Afraid for my life. Couldn’t come out to smoke a cigarette, you know, looking around, paranoia.”
They weren’t living in this place, but Gerald says he couldn’t move the furniture out ’til the middle of November while he waited for the six holes and broken leg to heal.
Gerald Wynn: “Because I couldn’t get around to move in and out.”
Patrick Fraser: “You were still on a walker?”
Gerald Wynn: “I was still on the walker.”
Gerald says, in the middle of November, he was able to remove the furniture, clean up the place and return the key to the property manager. He then asked for his $1,250 security deposit back.
Gerald Wynn: “He said, we don’t have a deposit because we still owe for the month of November.”
Gerald can’t walk well and can’t work at all. He needs that security deposit to help pay for a new place.
Gerald Wynn: “Because I was shot on his property. I would like my deposit back or whatever I can get because we damn near on the streets right now, you know what I mean? I’m almost on the streets.”
Well, if you get shot at a rental, can you move out and get your security deposit back?
Howard Finkelstein, 7News legal expert: “This may surprise you, but no, you do not get it back, and even if you die, your family doesn’t get out of the rental agreement or get the security deposit back. The only exception is if it’s a high crime area, and the landlord doesn’t provide adequate security. That’s not the case for Gerald, so while the landlord can give the money back, he doesn’t have to.”
I contacted the property manager of Gerald’s apartment. He said he enjoyed Help Me Howard, but he couldn’t return Gerald’s security deposit, adding, if he had moved out in early November, we could work with him.
But he didn’t clear out the apartment until late November, costing the landlord that month’s rent.
Gerald Wynn: “I am filing for disability because of the screws in my leg.”
Since Gerald can’t work and doesn’t have the money for another apartment, he has started a GoFundMe page for the $2,500, and after getting shot six times, he also has some free advice.
Gerald Wynn: “Be aware of your surroundings? I could tell you that much. Everybody a suspect, yeah.”
Can’t blame Gerald for feeling that way now, and if you don’t feel safe at your rental, ask the landlord to install security.
If they won’t, then ask them to negotiate a way out of your lease. That way both sides are satisfied.
And if you want to help Gerald raise the money for a security deposit, click here.
Fired up about a problem? Gunning for a solution? Let us take a shot at solving it.
With this Help Me Howard, I’m Patrick Fraser, 7News.
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