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Roger
Roger, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 31022
Experience:  BV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell; SuperLawyer rating by Thompson-Reuters
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My son and two other boys leased an apartment in Austin, TX.

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My son and two other boys leased an apartment in Austin, TX. All rent was paid on time and they moved out last May 2011.

The landlord refunded their security deposit after inspecting the property. Now the landlord is saying there was hidden damage that was not seen in the initial inspection. He claims some of the damage was purposely covered up by the boys which is untrue.

The landlord is attempting to sue all three boys along with their guardians for the damage which he claims amounts to approximately $1000. He says if we do not provide a cashiers check within 10 days he will file suit and estimates the award will be 3 times the amount ($3000) plus accrued attorney's fees of $2000. I would think the legal lease is considered a contract and once the deposit was refunded, the boys contractual obligation was over.


My question (s): can he legally do this after he inspected the property and refunded the deposit? And if he can do this, what are the chances of him winning the suit? Can you please recommend a course of action?

Thank you,
WW

Hi - my name is XXXXX XXXXX I'm a Real Estate litigation attorney here to assist you.

 

You can't stop him from suing unless you comply and pay him everything he wants. As for potential success, if he can prove that the problems he now claims were concealed by your son and the other tenants, and he can prove the concealment and that there was no way he could have discovered these conditions earlier, he likely has a claim against them. However, if he has re-rented the property since the boys moved out in May, that gives it a whole new twist because someone else could have done the damage - like a new tenant.

 

I do think that the landlord may have a tough time claiming that he missed the problems unless he can prove concealment.

 

I would recommend that you consult with an attorney about the cost of fighting this as opposed to just paying the $1000 demanded. It may boil down to a business decision to spend the money to fight or just pay to get past this matter.

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