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Legalease
Legalease, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 16348
Experience:  13 years experience in RE Law, including LL/Tenant, contractor disputes, comm'l prop. issues
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We rented out a house in Clarksville, TN months, June 2015

Customer Question

We rented out a house in Clarksville, TN for 12 months, June 2015 thru May 2016. We gave him one month's free rent ($1250) in exchange for his executing a number of repairs around the property. We had this agreement in writing, signed, but not notarized. However, it became apparent after he left that the agreed repairs were largely incomplete or substandard. Is there any way we can recover damages?
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Legalease replied 10 months ago.

Hello there --

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Did you get a security deposit from this person?

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MARY

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
$1250. He never asked for it back, I never offered it (as I had not gotten thorough proof that he had executed the agreed repairs). On the other hand, I have not gotten a contractor to estimate the cost of repairs; it may be more or less than $1250.
Expert:  Legalease replied 10 months ago.

Hello again --

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If you have not already sent him a security deposit letter, you really need to do that because it is supposed to be sent by law within 30 days after he left the premises. In the letter, you should itemize the damages and what you believe that it will cost to correct those damages and deduct the $1250 from the amount of those damages (letting him know that you are retaining the security deposit as payment towards making these repairs that he never finished or were completed in a shoddy manner pursuant to his agreement to do these things for one month of "free" rent). If there is an excess amount that is still due, you have the right to request that he pay the excess amount in the security deposit letter and tell him that if he does not pay the remaining amount within 60 days of your sending this letter to him, that you will proceed to small claims court to collect upon the balance owed to you for the failure to make repairs / make acceptable repairs. Then, if and when he does not pay the additional amount you request, you can take him into small claims court in your county for up to $5,000 (you can get the paperwork for a small claims court filing at the clerk;s office of the local civil court in the county where the property is located). The security deposit letter should be sent to his last known address -- even if it is the address of the apartment he used to lease from you (because he could have filed a forwarding request with the post office) -- if the letter is returned to you and he later tries to sue you for return of the security deposit, you should keep the letter and use it as proof that you tried to send the letter within the required time period.

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Please let me know if you have any further questions. I will certainly answer any further follow up questions you may have here in another message block. However, if you do not have more questions, I ask that you please press a positive rating above so I will be paid for my time assisting you this evening? Pressing the middle star or the fourth or fifth star to the right of the middle star above is a positive rating. Pressing a positive rating will not cost any additional money -- it is just a trigger that is used by this website to pay me for my time (I receive nothing if you leave the website without pressing a positive rating). THANK YOU VERY MUCH !!

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MARY

Expert:  Legalease replied 10 months ago.

Hello again --

P I note that you reviewed the answers above not too long after I posted it. Can you please let me know if you have any further questions. I will certainly answer any further follow up questions you may have here in another message block. However, if you do not have more questions, I ask that you please press a positive rating above so I will be paid for my time assisting you this evening? Pressing the middle star or the fourth or fifth star to the right of the middle star above is a positive rating. Pressing a positive rating will not cost any additional money -- it is just a trigger that is used by this website to pay me for my time (I receive nothing if you leave the website without pressing a positive rating). THANK YOU VERY MUCH !!

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MARY

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