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If a landlord brings video "evidence" of damage beyond

If a landlord brings...

If a landlord brings video "evidence" of damage beyond normal wear and tear on a unit, but does not have proof that the tenant caused the damage (i.e. video or photographs of the unit before tenants inhabited the unit), how would the tenant proceed?

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

Alabama

Lawyer's Assistant: Has any paperwork been filed?

I have received a deposit statement reflecting damage and charges for which I do not accept responsibility.

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

The rental agency promised to repair and paint walls before we moved in. But that was not done. Now they want us to pay to paint the walls.

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Answered in 5 minutes by:
9/6/2017
ScottyMacESQ
ScottyMacESQ, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 18,171
Experience: Licensed General Practice Attorney, Texas
Verified

Thank you for using JustAnswer.

I'm sorry to hear about your situation. Is there a good explanation of the damage that it was not caused by the tenant, but rather some outside force, etc...? That is, what type of damage was it?

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Customer reply replied 11 months ago
I'm contending that the damage was not in excess of normal wear and tear. There were some new nails and a few small marks on paint where plastitac was used to affix posters, but no damage that wouldn't be repaired by the maintenance that we were promised would take place before we moved in.

I see. Thank you for that additional information. Please give me a few minutes while I type a response. I am still here with you, but it does take a bit of time to type a complete response.

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Customer reply replied 11 months ago
Thank you.

Under Alabama law, a landlord must return the tenant's security deposit, with an itemized statement of deductions, within 60 days after the lease or tenancy has ended and the tenant has moved out (delivered possessions of the rental to the landlord).

The best way for the tenant to proceed is to first demand the wrongfully withheld portion of the security deposit back. Send a demand letter demanding payment within 30 days, otherwise you will pursue legal action against him, seeking that amount plus any additional damages as allowed by law. Send this letter certified, return receipt requested, as well as a copy sent regular mail. Keep a copy for yourself, as well as the return receipt number so that you can show the court that you made a demand for the unpaid security deposit.

Do a search on the web for your county and "small claims court." You should find either a website or phone number to the small claims clerk. Ask them what you need to do to bring such a lawsuit. The small claims clerk will give you guidance on how to file this suit and how to get the other party served with notice. You will receive a hearing date, at which you should present your evidence and ask for a judgment for the amount that you should be paid.

Hope that clears things up a bit. If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer AND press the "submit" button, if applicable.

Please note that I don't get any credit for the time and effort that I spent on this answer unless and until you rate it positively (3 or more stars). Look for the stars on your screen (★★★★★). You may need to scroll left/right/up/down to see these stars, but note that the rating is what closes out this question, so it is necessary that you do so.

Thank you, ***** ***** luck to you!

ScottyMacESQ
ScottyMacESQ, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 18,171
Experience: Licensed General Practice Attorney, Texas
Verified
ScottyMacESQ and 87 other Real Estate Law Specialists are ready to help you
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Customer reply replied 11 months ago
Thank you. They waited until their 60 day period "that they are allowed by law" had completely expired before sending me the deposit statement.

Wow. Well I hope that this pops them in the nose and shows them who's boss...

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DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

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