Ask a Landlord-Tenant Question, Get an Answer ASAP!
Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney and will try my best to help with your situation. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I research statutes or ordinances and type out an answer or reply, but rest assured, I am working on your question.
What damages is the landlord claiming you are liable for?
Were there actual damages or is this all normal wear and tear?.
Do you have pictures of the property after you moved out and when you moved in?
He is claiming wear and tear items like paint and carpet. But is charging us for putting in laminate flooring and pearl paint to wall and floor boards which were never in the unit. .
Those items have 5 year depreciable lifespans so he can't charge you anything for them if you were there at least 6 years...
So at this point, your recourse is to file a written dispute to the claims and send it to the landlord within 15 days of receiving the itemized list. Then you can file a small claims court lawsuit and sue him for the improper deductions.
You don't need an attorney and the clerks will have the summons and complaint forms you need to file to start the case..
That is just a general common law rule that has evolved over time...it is not something that has been codified into a statute. But most every judge uses a 5 year depreciable lifespan on things like flooring, paint and appliances since it is easy.
And yes, you sue him for anything that you dispute....any deduction that he has improperly made. It isn't a countersuit because he isn't suing you, you would be suing him..
As an aside, in addition to being an attorney, I have also been a landlord for over 26 years...