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Barrister
Barrister, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 33761
Experience:  15 years real estate, Realtor. Landlord 26 years
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I have a rental property that I am selling at the end of

Customer Question

i have a rental property that I am selling at the end of this month. The tenant has been is section 8, has been there 9-10 years. 2 years ago, her water was disconnected causing $960.00 damages. Can I use her deposit to recover those costs?
JA: Because laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state the property is in?
Customer: Iowa
JA: Has any paperwork been filed?
Customer: an offer was made and accepted to sell
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: no
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 month ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney who will try my very best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can. 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.

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Did you ever send the tenant a bill for the damages at the time they were repaired?

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Customer: replied 1 month ago.
She was sent a copy of the bill that I was sent, she never replied. Her rent is 100% paid by section 8, I knew she didn't have it.
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 month ago.

The problem here is that normally a security deposit is only to be used for damages at the end of a tenancy, any cleaning, late fees and delinquent rent.

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With that said, since these are damages, I think you could legitimately still deduct the damages from the security deposit for the costs and then send the tenant an itemized invoice showing the deductions to the deposit.

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The new owner could then demand that she replace the deposit up to the prior amount or hold her in breach.

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As an aside, in addition to being an attorney, I have also been a landlord for over 26 years...

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
The costs associated with utility disconnection is specifically the responsibility of the tenant in the lease.
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Thank you
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 month ago.

Ok, then you would definitely have grounds to hold them in breach and deduct for those "damages" that the tenant caused.

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thanks

Barrister

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