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I have a Petition in small claims court about a tenant who…

I have a Petition...

I have a Petition in small claims court about a tenant who moved out leaving no notice and damage above and beyond her deposit. The petition was for a small amount of $1650.00.

Lawyer's Assistant: Because laws vary from place to place, what state is this in? And can you tell me what's been officially filed?

Galveston, Tx. At the JP, I filed a small claim, and am waiting on a court date. I had sent a certified letter to my tenant with pictures and evidence to

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

I had a lease that stated if it was not renewed, we would be on month-month. The terms of the lease required her to leave the home it in the condition it was when she moved in. There was damage, and that is what I am claiming for. My legal question is can I charge her for the hours and miles we used to clean the house.

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

My tenant has retained a lawyer who has asked the court to dismiss the case. I had sent a letter to the tenant with pictures and an invoice, but the tenant did not sign for the letter. As a result, her lawyer has no idea what her client has done, and probably would not have even taken the case.

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Answered in 56 minutes by:
3/24/2018
Barrister
Barrister, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 42,556
Experience: 17 yrs practice, Civil, Criminal, Domestic, Realtor, Landlord 26 yrs
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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 type out an answer or reply.

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This is something that is typically up to the judge, but you can add in charges for any cleaning costs, but the charge would have to be reasonable and somewhat less than a professional would charge. So if a pro charges $30 an hour, you could probably charge $25 and not have a problem with the judge. It also helps if you have an estimate from a pro that you can use to substantiate your hourly charges..

.

But I have never seen a judge allow for mileage or something like that..

.

As a practical note, it is a good idea to put something in your leases that states that cleaning charges will be $XX per hour so you are disclosing it up front.. And also to always take pictures before the tenancy starts and after it ends so you have picture proof of condition..

.

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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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
My whole point is, the lawyer who is asking the court to dismiss the case has had no information about my claim because the tenant did not read my certified letter. My tenant stated that I had made no effort to 'mitigate' the charges. Yet I had made 2 attempts including the unclaimed mail.
I have prepared a letter to send to the lawyer along with pictures - but I don't know if that is legal.

Ok, so you understand that is why you go to court and have a hearing.... that is where you argue your case to the judge and explain that the tenant did this and that and you want to hold them accountable. As for damages, if the tenant damaged the property, you have no legal duty to mitigate your damages and try to get things fixed cheaply.. You only have a duty to mitigate if the tenant moved out early without paying as you have to try to re-rent as soon as possible..

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And there is nothing to prevent you from sending the letter to the lawyer. But I wouldn't get my hopes up too much that he will just drop the client and go away... he is being paid to fight you..

.

.

thanks

Barrister

Barrister
Barrister, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 42,556
Experience: 17 yrs practice, Civil, Criminal, Domestic, Realtor, Landlord 26 yrs
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