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I am the landlord. My tenants have destroyed my back door.

Customer Question
I am the landlord...

I am the landlord. My tenants have destroyed my back door. They said it was that way on move in. I do not recall it being broken. They said nothing in their move in walk thru paper nor at any time during their year and 1 month time of rental. How should I handle this?

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

Washington Olympia

Lawyer's Assistant: Has anything been filed or reported?

Other than an eviction no.

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

They are harassing me for their deposit. I am waiting on an appraisal. I finally obtained the property and changed the locks after they left over 15 days ago.

Submitted: 11 months ago.Category: Legal
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Answered in 5 minutes by:
9/14/2017
Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 11 months ago
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 14,372
Experience: Licensed to practice before state and federal court
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Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 11 months ago

Thank you very much for your patience. I'm very sorry to hear about this situation. This may be something that you may have to mediate informally with them. What I mean by that is that there's probably no way for you to prove that it was not like that when you rented them the building and there was probably no way for them to prove that it was like that when they started renting the building. neither side is really going to have very good evidence if this ended up going to court. Thus, it may make better sense to try to figure out a reasonable way to split the cost of doing this. One thing that you could do is say that if the tenants get it fixed, that you could give them a break on the rent or maybe even give them a free month. Even if the cost of fixing the door is less than the rent, it could help with Good Will and it will save you time because you won't have to try to find somebody to fix it. The other thing that you could do is that you could just get it repaired yourself. The reason that I say this is because it is possible that they could say that you need to fix the door because you are the landlord. Generally, if you don't make the repairs in the building during the time of the lease then they may sue you for breach of contract. That may not be worth it. However, in order to avoid all of that, I would ask them what they think a reasonable solution would be to this situation, and suggest them that they can go through the process of trying to get it fixed themselves in exchange for break on the rent. Did you have any other questions for me?

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Customer reply replied 11 months ago
Well, sir they have been evicted for a witnessed damage to the home as well as non payment of rent. I don't know what to do about the harassment for their deposit.
Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 11 months ago

I understand. If you have proof or you at least strongly in reasonably believe that they are the ones that damage the home, then you have the right to cancel the lease because the landlord reserves the right generally to cancel the lease in the event of damage by the tenant that is beyond reasonable wear and tear of living somewhere. As far as the deposit is concerned, generally, you have to provide a refund of the deposit minus any reasonable cleaning or repairs after they moved out. If the cleaning and repairs exceeds the deposit, then you can keep the deposit and charge them for the difference. My recommendation would be to send them an itemized list of all of the things that you had to get fixed and cleaned after they left. It will be on them whether they want to pursue it after that.

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