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barristerinky
barristerinky, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 37392
Experience:  Attorney over 16 years, landlord 26 years
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Reside in Fl. Just moved out. Landlord is claiming I left

Customer Question

Reside in Fl. Just moved out. Landlord is claiming I left damage to unit. Damage was not left, property manager did a walk through. Been in unit 6 years, they are claiming damage but the landlord is holding our deposit and upgraded the unit. And passing the bill on to me. How can I get my deposit back? Should I take him to court or arbitration?
JA: Because laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state the property is in? When we are ready I'll take you to the appropriate web page. What are the terms of the lease? Any issues related to maintenance or upkeep?
Customer: Florida
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: Security Deposit is $1325 and claiming I left $6000 worth of damages.
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  barristerinky replied 7 months ago.

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.

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What damages is the landlord claiming you are liable for?

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Were there actual damages or is this all normal wear and tear?.

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Do you have pictures of the property after you moved out and when you moved in?

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
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.This landlord also bought the unit three years ago with some present damage that the previous landlord did not fix. Did he not buy the unit as-is?We have some pictures of stains in carpet and damage to stove and an email when we first moved in stating the most obvious damage to unit. That was to the previous landlord and/or property manager.The new owner did inspections to the unit where we stated all these damages and issues with unit. And the inspector also told me, the tenant, that paints in the unit were wrong especially the bathroom, there were air bubbles and cracks in paint because the wrong paint was used. He wrote this down. Should that not be in an inspection report, which he is bound to keep?I believe this is a tactic to keep our deposit but I want my deposit fully refunded to me!
Expert:  barristerinky replied 7 months ago.

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.
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Those items have 5 year depreciable lifespans so he can't charge you anything for them if you were there at least 6 years...

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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.

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You don't need an attorney and the clerks will have the summons and complaint forms you need to file to start the case..

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I was there 5 years, moved in November 2011. Just saw date of emails when I first moved in. I believed it was 6 years.What claim or statute is that, "Those items have 5 year depreciable lifespans so he can't charge you anything for them if you were there at least 6 years..."What rights can I sue him for improper deductions, should that be a counter suit or for getting my deposit back plus fees/damages?
Expert:  barristerinky replied 7 months ago.

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.

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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..

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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

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