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Gerald-Esquire
Gerald-Esquire, Other
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 3914
Experience:  30 Years of experience.
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Tenant question... Our rental agreement went through May

Customer Question

Tenant question... Our rental agreement went through May 2015. We agreeded (not in writing) that our $2000 security deposit would cover our last months rent of $1750 and any small items that may need fixing like scratched paint, floor dings, and any normal
wear and tear items. This was discussed at our walk thru when we returned the keys. Our landlord was the owner of the home we rented. At the walk thru my family was present and the landlord and his wife. About a month ago we received a letter stating we owed
the landlord $775 for damages. Items ranged from issue with the screen porch to not cutting the bushes/mowing the yard and charging us for a 300 ceiling fan that we managed to work with while we were there (the pull string got broke off inside the casing so
we just used the wall switch. We think he is just trying to see if we will pay the money with no questions. What should we do to respond to the letter? What rights do we have? We feel the charges he listed are crazy. Please help!!!
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  Gerald-Esquire replied 1 year 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.
It would have been better to have gotten your informal agreement in writing at the time of the walk through simply because it would have evidenced the agreement and prevented this situation.
Nevertheless, you have your testimony and the testimony of other members of your family that there was an agreement reached as to damages at the time of the walk through.
So your position is that you and the landlord reached an oral agreement as to the value of the damages. Oral agreements are binding. (Just harder to prove).
The proper response for you now is to send a letter back to the landlord, disputing that you owe any additional money because you had an oral agreement that the landlord could keep the entire security deposit in lieu of last month's rent and in lieu of any further claims regarding damages. Send the letter certified mail. Keep a copy of the letter and a copy of the proof of receipt.
It is not likely that he will sue. If he does it will be in small claims court (no attorneys required in small claims). You and your witnesses will testify as to the oral agreement. You will only have to pay if you lose.
I hope the information I have provided 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.
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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.