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Ask Law Educator, Esq. Your Own Question
Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 118292
Experience:  Licensed attorney practicing landlord-tenant, land use and other real estate law and litigation.
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I am a tenant who is trying to get my landlord to agree to

Customer Question

Hi, I am a tenant who is trying to get my landlord to agree to give me my security deposit back after I move out at the end of this month.
JA: Because laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state the property is in?
Customer: Ohio
JA: Has any paperwork been filed in court? And what is your ideal outcome for the situation?
Customer: No paper work yet, I have just been going back and forth with my landlord trying to figure out the cause of the actual water damage, but he is not working with me on this.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I was taking a bath, and the water level was at the overflow cover, so if it was working properly, no water leakage would have occurred. When I notified the landlord to check the overflow drain pipe and gasket for possible leaks, his only reply was that he had his pipes pressure tested and inspected in 2008 and 2009. He refuses to look into the actual cause, only stating the cause was I "filled the tub too high", but the water never overflowed the bathtub, and I don't see how I am legally responsible for the water damage.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
Until the landlord does a final walk through they do not have to agree to return the security deposit. If there was water damage caused while you were taking a bath and he had no prior knowledge of some defect that you reported, then you would bear the burden of proof if the matter were to go to court I am afraid. If there was an overflow of the tub when the tenant filled it, even though you say you did not over fill it, then you would have to prove any leaks were from a defect in the property.
So, you would need to prove there is some defect in the pipes that the leak was from and not from the tub and that would mean getting your own plumber to conduct an inspection to prove this if you have to take him to court. If you are still in the apartment you would want to get your own inspection done now, even if it is at your expense, to build your case that you are not liable.