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I'm a renter. The previous tenant left a huge scratch on my…

Customer Question
Hi there, I'm a...

Hi there, I'm a renter. The previous tenant left a huge scratch on my wooden floor. When he moved out, I find a repairmen to estimate the fees for floor repairs and deducted this amount from the tenant's security deposit. Then the house was re-leased to a new tenant who's urged to move in so we leave that floor problem to take care of in the future. Now the tenant send a letter said he checked that we didn't repair the floor and re-leased the house. So he ask for the full amount refunding. What shall I do? Do I legally obliged to repair the floor within certain period of time after he moved out? Thank you very much for your help!

Lawyer's Assistant: Because real estate law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?

California

Lawyer's Assistant: Has any paperwork been filed?

You mean to the court? no

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

The previous tenant was rude and made many huge damages in the house. Some of them we found out after the new tenant moved in. Can we ask for repair fees for these damages?

Submitted: 9 months ago.Category: Real Estate Law
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Answered in 6 minutes by:
9/19/2017
Real Estate Lawyer: Barrister, Lawyer replied 9 months ago
Barrister
Barrister, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 42,154
Experience: 17 years real estate, Realtor. Landlord 26 years
Verified

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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You may also be offered a phone call, but those don’t come from me and are offered by JustAnswer. If you have requested a phone call with an attorney, your request will post to other experts that do offer this service. When another attorney accepts your request you will get additional instructions.

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You are entitled to withhold the cost of the repair from their deposit as an estimate of the cost that it will take to repair. You would have to have included a copy of that estimate with any itemized list of damages when you sent it to the tenant.

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CA law says:

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CA Civil Code 1950.5(g)

(3) If a repair to be done by the landlord or the landlord’s employee cannot reasonably be completed within 21 calendar days after the tenant has vacated the premises, or if the documents from a person or entity providing services, materials, or supplies are not in the landlord’s possession within 21 calendar days after the tenant has vacated the premises, the landlord may deduct the amount of a good faith estimate of the charges that will be incurred and provide that estimate with the itemized statement. If the reason for the estimate is because the documents from a person or entity providing services, materials, or supplies are not in the landlord’s possession, the itemized statement shall include the name, address, and telephone number of the person or entity. Within 14 calendar days of completing the repair or receiving the documentation, the landlord shall complete the requirements in paragraphs (1) and (2) in the manner specified.

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So you are allowed to use written estimates when you are deducting from the deposit for damages.

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As for the other damages, you have the right to sue them in small claims court for up to 4 years after the lease ended under a breach of contract claim.

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thanks

Barrister

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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
Thank you very much for your answer! Do you provide the service to respond the previous tenant's letter? If so, we can arrange a meeting or phone call to discuss the whole situation. Thank you!
Real Estate Lawyer: Barrister, Lawyer replied 9 months ago

Unfortunately, I am not allowed to represent customers from the site or recommend anyone personally under my agreement with JustAnswer. However, these are a couple sites that we attorneys actually use if we need local counsel in a state where we aren't licensed. Further, customers have consistently reported good results with these sites:

.

www.martindale.com

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www.lawyers.com

.

They screen their attorneys based on geographic location, area of practice, time in practice, cost and customer reviews.

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Real Estate Lawyer: Barrister, Lawyer replied 9 months ago

Hello again,

.I just wanted to touch base with you and check in..Did you have any further questions I can help with?..Thanks muchBarrister
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