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My landlord says I scratched his marble floor and just

Hi, my landlord says...

Hi, my landlord says I scratched his marble floor and just before my move in he did the polish the entire apartment (he says he had document prove). When I moved in the realtor just left the door open (I did video of the staff, but not the floor).also when I moved in the carpet was just at that place, so maybe the scratch was there before me. I was pregnant during the rent and then with a newborn baby so I wouldn’t be in condition to move any big furniture . The owner says I put the baby crib there and it was the reason, but I used the crib at another place (have pictures) . Also my old 64 years mom was leaving with me and my husband came for several weeks. When I moved out realtor said she was busy so I could left the keys and the door open. So neither at move in or at move out there was no one from landlords side. The landlord provided pictures and there is hardly a scratch can be seen (the floor is still dirty the same way I left as I remember there were drops from the milk of my daughter, though we had in contract the move out cleaning)...it seems like they took the pictures of the floor and had no cleaning and the owner moved in just the next day...I have no chance to see if it is a real scratch or no and also I don’t remember if it was before me or I did it. I don’t image how I could scratch a marble floor by just walking at this area ( it is between the sofa and the coffee table in the middle of the room). My question is whether the process of move in and out was correct from the owners realtor side? Can the owner prove that it was me or not me of the polish was several days before my arrival (I have in contract statements that the apartment should be vacant from the owners belongings - he had a lot of luggage, big barbecue at the balcony that was taken out). If the scratch of 30 cm size not really visiable not deep is more than wear and tear and if after 15 days of no written claim he can still somehow withhold the amount.3) can I ask to withhold just that part rather than to polish everything (there is a service I found). The reason he (or even his realtor) wants to get my deposit is that the realtor asked to put the keys in the mocrowave and the cleaning lady broke it when not took away s the keys out. Realtor says that she provided the polish company to the owner just before my arrival so I guess it’s also something shady, maybe unreal documents. I am pretty sure they can’t prove there was no scratch before my arrive with pictures

Lawyer's Assistant: Because laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state the property is in?

Florida

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

Just regular maitanan e rules (nothing about floor particularly)

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

I have pictures

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Answered in 2 minutes by:
3/27/2018
LandlordTenantAnswer
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 32,413
Experience: Landlord-Tenant Disputes, Leases, Evictions, Foreclosures.
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Hi! I will be the professional that will be helping you today. I look forward to providing you with information to help with your question and concern

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Good morning. I certainly understand the situation and your concern. What has the landlord demanded from you?

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
He didn’t say yet the amount but seems like the whole apartment polish it’s like 600 usd
Customer reply replied 3 months ago
I guess he is preparing a claim in written. I am in Russia already

Thank you for the reply. The landlord would be able to charge you for the cost of repair, to fix the scratch but not the entire apartment. You, as a tenant, need to leave the property in the same condition and when you took possession, less normal wear and tear, so if the landlord wants to polish the entire rental, he should have to incur the cost, outside of the area he claims you scratched. Now, the burden would be on him, to show that this was no there when you moved in and present when you moved out and if it is a small scratch and hard to see and there are no photos, it would be your word against his. As you are aware, Florida law allows you to dispute this in writing, if he makes the deduction but if you are unable to settle this, you would need to sue him for the return of the deposit, if he has no evidence to or basis to deduct it and impose a claim, as requires under Florida law.

(a) Upon the vacating of the premises for termination of the lease, if the landlord does not intend to impose a claim on the security deposit, the landlord shall have 15 days to return the security deposit together with interest if otherwise required, or the landlord shall have 30 days to give the tenant written notice by certified mail to the tenant’s last known mailing address of his or her intention to impose a claim on the deposit and the reason for imposing the claim. The notice shall contain a statement in substantially the following form:

This is a notice of my intention to impose a claim for damages in the amount of upon your security deposit, due to . It is sent to you as required by s. 83.49(3), Florida Statutes. You are hereby notified that you must object in writing to this deduction from your security deposit within 15 days from the time you receive this notice or I will be authorized to deduct my claim from your security deposit. Your objection must be sent to (landlord’s address) .

If the landlord fails to give the required notice within the 30-day period, he or she forfeits the right to impose a claim upon the security deposit and may not seek a setoff against the deposit but may file an action for damages after return of the deposit.

(b) Unless the tenant objects to the imposition of the landlord’s claim or the amount thereof within 15 days after receipt of the landlord’s notice of intention to impose a claim, the landlord may then deduct the amount of his or her claim and shall remit the balance of the deposit to the tenant within 30 days after the date of the notice of intention to impose a claim for damages. The failure of the tenant to make a timely objection does not waive any rights of the tenant to seek damages in a separate action.

(c) If either party institutes an action in a court of competent jurisdiction to adjudicate the party’s right to the security deposit, the prevailing party is entitled to receive his or her court costs plus a reasonable fee for his or her attorney. The court shall advance the cause on the calendar.

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
the scratch is beyond normal wear and tear?
Customer reply replied 3 months ago
Can u check the pictures pls

Yes, that is something that could be considered damage. I say this because wear and tear would be needing to get it polished after some time and cleaning it. If it is scratched, it is damaged. I really can not see anything in the photos, I am sorry to say.

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
me too, I can’t see what he is talking about, for me it’s just a grisy floor and I cannot physically check if it is a real scratch. And if he will say that if he makes a polish of just that area than it will be another color than the rest of the territory (I
Mean if he still wants to withhold for the entire apartment)?
Customer reply replied 3 months ago
Also couple of extra questions:
1) according to agreement the money are at the agents escrow (I paid cash, don’t know if she put it there or not). She says she can’t wire from escrow to Russian bank, so she wants to return the whole deposit to owner. He is Argentinian (not a citizen of Usa) so I am afraid he will not send it at all. And even if I win the court than he will not fulfill his duty under court

You are welcome. If the deposit is being held in escrow, they could simply issue you a check and mail it or send is western union or money gram or some other way. If you have to sue and get a judgment, you then need to enforce it if the owner does not pay. Please let me know if there is anything else, as I would be happy to respond. If not, please remember to rate my help at this time at the top of this page, prior to leaving, so I can receive the proper credit, for our time together. A 5 STAR rating is greatly appreciated. Thank you.

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
I can say to realtor that it’s her obligation under the contract to send the money and not to him? I am ok if it’s done by her not him as she is a licensed broker
And he is not a resident. How can I enforce the owner ? There is a risk not to have the money back even after the court if he is not a resident? The last question- can I bring in Russia bring the situation to court and how? What would be the average court expenses?

No, this would need to be filed in the county where the property is located. You need to read the lease agreement and contract and see what it says about the deposit and who is holding it, as you could possibly sue the realtor and their company for its return if it should not be released if there is a dispute since if you sue and prevail, a court order could result in its return to you, so you want to act fast and if you are in Russian, need to retain an attorney in Florida.

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
I can’t go to small court in Florida myself online or by written from Russia? I need to be present there or to hire an attorney? Right? The contract says the deposit should be kept by realtor at the escrow, but she says she has to return it to
Owner as 1) she can’t use escrow to wire money to Russia 2) as there is a claim (actually no written one yet)
Customer reply replied 3 months ago
That’s what she is saying : it is in my escrow, but if he will dispute it I have to give it to him. I can't wire to Russia. I went there yesterday but he wasn't in Hallandale when I was done getting a microwave that fits that space. Anyway, I know for a fact he did have the entire condo floors polished in November, I recommended the contractor to him.
this is a defense which you need to use. You have a legal right to dispute this and to demand that the money not be released from escrow and you can file a lawsuit if needed. I know this is not ideal since you are out of the country but it is a civil matter and dispute and if it can not be resolved you need to sue
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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
If the realtor sends me just the netting amount just before the written claim from the owner and my claim against his claim than I will have to sue her not him?
Right now you need to sue him if he is the owner and holder of the deposit. You need to review the lease and see if there is any legal basis to include her or her company in a lawsuit depending on the scope of their representation and holding of the deposit.
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You are welcome. Please let me know if there is anything else, as I would be happy to respond. If not, please remember to rate my help at this time at the top of this page, prior to leaving, so I can receive the proper credit, for our time together. A 5 STAR rating is greatly appreciated. Thank you.

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