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Richard, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 55297
Experience:  32 years of experience as lawyer in Texas. I'm also a Real Estate developer.
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Term tenant, in Marion County, Or ran into garage door on

Customer Question

Long term tenant, in Marion County, Or ran into garage door on more than occasion. Door was cracked in 4 different panels. To repair would have been 775.00 and to replace 995.00. Panels could not be found as door no longer being made and garage door man could find no existing panels after searching for them. Consequently, it had to be replaced. Second, a bleaching agent was set on Formica counter in guest bathroom and counter had to be replaced. 3rd, under Oregon Law, is the tenant required to clean the carpet on move out. These charges were made against the security deposit. Tenant sued, landlord countetred for charges. Landlord was not previously notified of these damages on one and two.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Richard replied 1 year ago.

Good evening. My name is ***** ***** I look forward to helping you.

You are well within your rights here. Your tenant can go ballistic all she wants; it doesn't change the law and her obligations. Whether or not she or a companion ran into the garage makes no difference with regard to the tenant's liability. Your tenant may have a cause of action against her companion but that's between the two of them. On the counter, if she damaged the counter, she is responsible if it needs to be replaced. Same for the carpet. But, here's the only caveat. Although the tenant is liable, the tenant's liability is limited based on the remaining useful life of the item damaged. For example, rental carpet usually has a useful life of approximately 5 years, and thus even if it needs to be replaced, your tenant is only liable for the cost of replacement times the useful life left. So, for example, if the carpet is 3 years old when she moves out, then it only has 2 years of useful life left and she would only be obligated for 40% of the cost. But, this would likely have no applicability to the garage door or counter, because absent being damaged, these would last indefinitely and thus she would not be able to claim a reduction on the useful life concept.

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