Consumer Protection Law
Consumer Protection Law Questions? Ask a Lawyer Now.
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I would be greatful for any direction in this situation
I see that you have damages to your rental exceeding the security deposit amount.
yes...the security deposit was only $550.00
There is recourse via a civil suit. The civil suit is not limited to the same time restrictions as the security deposit.
that is a relief to know
The tenant breached the lease by damaging the home and having the cat. The statute of limitations for breach of contract would apply.
do I have to give her a notice by June 30th of the damages or get an attorney?
can I settle out of court and just ask her for a check for the damages?
Yes. You are free to settle out of court.
A landlord would still need to send an itemized list of damages to retain the deposit. The notice can say additional amounts are owed and demand payment.
should I send her the pictures of the stains and damaged floor?
should I send her pictures of the damages floor and stains?
The statute of limitations for breach of contract actions in WV is ten years. While that is a long period in which a suit may be filed, it is typically better to be quick.
The more detail supply to the tenant supporting your retention of a deposit and claim for additional damages the better.
Pictures and receipts for repairs are good supporting documents to send.
here is an additional situation....it is a duplex....her fiancé lived in the other half before they were married and then moved in with her afterward. The animals were in the other side as well as they were his. Do I have a right to now sue them for those damages as well as I gave the deposit back?
If damages were hidden and not known at the time a deposit was returned then a landlord can file suit even after returning a security deposit.
I have a tenant who moved in there and did complain of animal odor but did not mind as her husband cleaned carpets for a living and cleans them regularly to aide in the odor. If they have to move out to remove the carpets can I sue for their hotel expenses?
That is a more difficult situation. The answer is that you could try. Lost rent can be recovered so it is possible this could as well.
Any other questions?
so how do I start the process? Mail her an itemized letter with pictures this week and ask her for the monitary damages?
do I let her know I am going to take her to court if she blows me off? as is her personality,,
Typically, a demand letter is used first. This can sometimes lead to informal resolution and save you the time and expense of going to court.
Direct threats of suit should be avoided, but including a deadline and advising you will seek damages to the full extent available under the law is fine.
I would love to avoid court if possible but fear she will demand it as she loves to fight. How do I address this in court?
Court is more complicated and you would be best served using an attorney.
what kind of an attorney should I get?
Given the amount of damages involved obtaining representation would probably be worth the expense.
A general civil litigation attorney is fine. This is not overly complex and requires no specialization.
You may even obtain limited representation for the purpose of sending a demand letter.
Sometimes a demand letter from an attorney is more effective that from a landlord.
what is limited representation?
You may want to attempt that if your own demand letter does not suffice. By limited, I meant to convey that you would only pay for that service to start. The demand letter should be reasonably inexpensive.
what do I say to the attorney to convey this to him? what do I say?
You can be very specific. Simply ask if you can hire them to send a demand letter and then if further representation is needed pay for that only once that is determined.
Otherwise, the attorney may demand a larger retainer up front.
A retainer is a sum of money held by the attorney which they bill against.
thank you very much.....is it possible to send the demand letter myself and if it does not work consult an attoerney after that?
Certainly. That is a good approach.
thank you so much for your help......you have made my day....blessings!!!
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