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Legalease
Legalease, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 16379
Experience:  13 years experience in RE Law, including LL/Tenant, contractor disputes, comm'l prop. issues
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I rented a property two years back. Original Tenant on Lease

Customer Question

I rented a property two years back. Original Tenant on Lease passed away who had made security deposit onaccount. Her daughter decided to move out and she gave us proper notice and moved out. I did a walk thru and house had lot of issues when she left like painting, carpet bulk trash and couple of doors busted. I as a goodwill gesture did not apply cost of carpet change since the carpet was old when she moved in but House was freshly painted and still the cost and material to clean/ Paint other minor repairs was almost close to 1500.00 I still decided to only charge her 50% so I reimbursed her 50% deposit and applied other half to the repair cost which was discounted to 50%. She went ahead and filed a suit for balance amount in court. I sent her 50% of the deposit to her as check and she cashed it. But she wrongly filed the suit. Lease was in companys name and she sued me instead since Im the owner. In court trial Judge dismissed the matter since the filing had to be redone. I have a court hearing next week in this matter. Also she lied to judge she did not cash the check for any deposit disposition. I was not in court and my company employee had represented the office. Please advice how to proceed Property is in MD
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Legalease replied 6 years ago.

Hello.

 

You should appear on behalf of your company (I am assuming that she re-filed in company name?) and bring with you copies of the cashed check and any correspondence with her. If you have pictures of the unit when she left before the repairs were made that will be good and if you have any witnesses that saw the condition of the apartment or worked on the apartment (even if your maintenance employees). Finally, be ready to fully explain to the judge how you arrived at the 50% amount that you should have charged her -- but you were being kind and generous because it might be possible that the original tenant caused some of the things that were left behind and you simply deicded to be nice and give her some of the deposit back. REgarding her lying to the court on whether or not she cashed the check -- you want to be gracious about it -- present the copies of the cashed check and simply state that "perhaps the tenant was mistaken but she did cash the check I sent her for the one half of the security deposit. The problem with most tenants I have encountered over the years is that they think that they are automatically entitled to the return of their deposit because everything to them is "normal wear and tear" -- no matter how bad the condition of the unit they left behind.

 

--MARY

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Customer: replied 6 years ago.

So it seems like it is very discretionary issue and each judge may act on their own decision. Yes I have Management Company so a walk thru with pictures was documented. I will go this time..

Expert:  Legalease replied 6 years ago.

Hello there

 

Yes, the judges have an incredible amount of discretion.

 

--MARY