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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 111467
Experience:  Attorney with over 24 years experience.
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I am in Pa, my landlord is claiming damages to the property

Customer Question

I am in Pa, my landlord is claiming damages to the property (which are non-existent) in order to not only keep money, but extort more from us. He is claiming the carpets need replaced, however, we hired a cleaning service before we moved out that can attest to the impeccable state of said carpets. There were many problems with the house from day one, after signing the lease, he "replaced" the stairs to the deck, which were not up to code, the resulting railing height being 16 inches, not the mandated 3 feet. Which resulted in and injury sustained by myself (doctors documentation, missed work, etc.) The stairs in the front broke, and he never fixed them, we had to hold them together with rock so we could get our mail, he knew and never took action to make them safe, or replace them. Furthermore, our Security deposit was never put is escrow, nor were we alerted to its location. Among other issues (it was in our lease he would mow the grass, he failed to do so on several occasions barring us from its upkeep resulting in grass growing over our knees, etc). I am wondering the grounds for a counter suit, should the need arise. And what happens to our security deposit if he failed to place it in escrow? Are we automatically entitled to that money?
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 4 months ago.

Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.

If you are claiming that the landlord failed to make reasonably necessary repairs to keep the home up to code and you gave him notice of the repairs that were required during your tenancy, then you can file a counter suit against the landlord for breach of lease to try to offset the damages he is claiming. Furthermore, he will need to actually present proof of the damages you caused, not merely continue these allegations without proof. If he has not provided you proof, you can also take him to court first and sue for him improperly holding your security deposit and claiming damages that did not exist and seek to get the court to order him to return your deposit.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Aside from the maintenance issues on the home, what happens to my deposit in Pennsylvania, if it was never placed is escrow? And we were never notified of its whereabouts?
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 4 months ago.

Thank you for your reply.

Security deposit must be returned to the tenant unless the landlord can prove actual damages that need to be paid for. So the landlord has to return it to you.