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My tenant did not surrender her keys until March 28, 2017.

Customer Question
My tenant did not...

My tenant did not surrender her keys until March 28, 2017. The house was flooded during the Louisiana flood of Aug 2016. She had stored her belongings on site through Sept 2016. She accessed the property on a regular basis for months. When I contacted her to let her know that the SBA money had come through and repairs would probably be complete by the end of March she informed me that she had rented elsewhere and wanted her prorated rent for August returned and her deposit back. the rental agreement stated that rent was due until the keys were returned. I have indicated that I would not charge the rent but that the prorated rent and deposit would not be returned. What am I responsible for?

Lawyer's Assistant: When we are ready I'll take you to the appropriate web page. Because laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state the property is in?

Louisiana

Lawyer's Assistant: What are the terms of the lease? Any issues related to maintenance or upkeep?

The tenant is responsible for maintaining the grounds.

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

Not that I know of

Submitted: 1 year ago.Category: Landlord-Tenant
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Answered in 10 minutes by:
4/1/2017
Lawyer: JBaxLaw, Attorney replied 1 year ago
JBaxLaw
JBaxLaw, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 11,396
Experience: Experience representing both landlords and tenants.
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Was the property livable? How bad were the conditions? Was the tenant unable to use the rental or were they able to use part of the property? Please explain and then I will respond. Thank you

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Customer reply replied 1 year ago
No not livable
Lawyer: JBaxLaw, Attorney replied 1 year ago

If a tenant payed prorated rent for part of the month they actually had full use of the rental, they would not be due a refund of such rent. The tenant would not be responsible if a rental was rendered unlivable and not repaired unfortunately. Failing to return keys could be used as a basis to retain security deposit funds, if a landlord had to pay to re-key a home. As to the deposit, reasons to retain a deposit would include unpaid rent. Rent would not be considered unpaid during a period in which a rental was not usable.

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Lawyer: JBaxLaw, Attorney replied 1 year ago

I am still working on your question.

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Lawyer: JBaxLaw, Attorney replied 1 year ago

Unfortunately, "acts of god" such as flooding provide a landlord no basis to retain a deposit. If other damages were caused by a tenant, retention of a deposit may be justified.

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Lawyer: JBaxLaw, Attorney replied 1 year ago

In sum, if a tenant lived in a rental prior to the rental being rendered unlivable they would be responsible for such pro-rated rent. The tenant would not be considered to be breaking a lease and would not be considered to owe rent normally where a home is rendered unlivable and un-repaired. I hope this provides clarity as to your deposit question.

Please feel free to follow-up here with me. Please take a moment to leave a rating if you would. I rely on these and appreciate it.

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