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Gerald-Esquire
Gerald-Esquire, Other
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 3596
Experience:  30 Years of experience.
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Our landlord has decided to not refund our security deposit.

Customer Question

Our landlord has decided to not refund our security deposit. We feel that everything was normal wear and tear stuff over a 7 yr period. We got itemized list and still feel wear and tear stuff. They first stated in a letter will just keep deposit with no additional charges for repair. Now that we may go to small claims they threaten us to countersue us for entire amount of damages. Can they do that aftet stating we don't owe them anything past deposit?
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  Gerald-Esquire replied 8 months ago.

Hello,

Thank you for using Just Answer. I want to provide you the best service I can. Please feel free to ask any follow up questions you have.

I am an attorney with 30 years of experience; I hope to provide you information that will help you in resolving your question.

The landlord is trying to intimidate you so that you do not pursue the security deposit. The can file the Counter-Claim but if you have any documentation that shows the condition of the property when you left and how the issues are normal wear and tear you should not have any issue. Additionally you can argue to the court that the Landlord is "ESTOPPED" from raising the issue of damages because they already signed off on the checklist.

Estoppel is a legal term that means someone can not tell you one thing and then later do another thing counter to what they told you.

Lastly, the Landlord is trying to create a position to negotiate with you a lesser amount. In other words he is positioning to persuade you to settle rather than sue.

I hope the information I provide is useful to you. I want you to be comfortable and satisfied with my attempt to assist you. Please, if you have ANY follow up questions, feel free to ask. Please note that I am generally unavailable Friday evening through Sunday.

Please do not forget to give me a positive rating. It adds nothing to your costs but it helps me greatly. Thank you.

If you are dissatisfied with my response PLEASE let me know before giving me a negative review so that I may try to be of better assistance. Or if you prefer, let me know and I can “Opt Out” and your question can be re-posted without additional cost to you. I will be fair to you and only ask the same from you.

Good luck.

Please note: Information is educational and not given as legal advice. Only your local attorney can give legal advice. I can't establish or accept an attorney-client relationship with you. All posts are available for public viewing.

Kind regards,

Gerald

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
We have no pictures of damages so basically our word against theirs. They want to settle by giving us 50% of deposit back. Otherwise, if pursue court they will try to get entire amount of damages plus labor covered. Without proof not sure if we should try to settle or continue with small claims. We have 3 letters each with a different amount listed from them. They start out stating minor then state more than minor. Just don't want to end up paying $3000 instead of just not getting half of my deposit back.
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
In hind site we messed up not documenting anything. Most repairs they made were reported to them within 1-2 months of living there. They looked at it, said don't worry about it. Now trying to say we are at fault and more than wear and tear. Of course, all done verbally out in the yard. So not sure if we have any grounds for a case.
Expert:  Gerald-Esquire replied 8 months ago.

Often there is no documentation. So it will be your word against their word. It is difficult to predict how such a case will be resolved. You still have a basis to go forward. It is just a weaker case.

If they are offering 50%that is not bad. You will not have the costs in time and energy and money to pursue the suit and you have a sure thing for the 50%. If you sue and lose you lose the 50% plus the court costs.

I hope this additional information is helpful to you.

Kind regards,

Gerald

(Please do not forget to rate me – click the five stars. It adds nothing additional to your costs, but it helps me greatly. Plus it is good Karma for you. Thank you.)

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