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Old 10-23-2012, 10:09 AM   #1
n89b
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Default Suing Landlord in small claims court for excessive damage claims

Hey guys, I reside in FL and have an issue with my previous LL in regards to what I believe are excessive claims for damages to the apartment.

This is my first time renting an apartment and I will admit it wasn't in the best of shape after I left due to roommates and a couple other issues we had there. I received a letter recently from the previous LL for damages to the apartment totalling $2600.

My security deposit for this apartment was only $200 but he is holding that towards the payment of the damages so it says that I only owe $2400. There are numerous charges for a bunch of things so I won't go over them in detail but they range from touching up of paint in the apartment which I was charged $614 for to replacing "missing" sink strainers for $35 and replacing 2 door locks for $65 each. I was also charged $500 to replace the carpet on my stairs for heavy stains and tracking which I do no believe that it had..

I don't believe that I should be paying for everything in his itemized list or even if I do, then no to the extent that he has listed. There was also a roach infestation in the entire complex that could attribute to some of the damages in the apartment. I've called the LLs exterminator numerous times to have stuff done about it but the roaches would always be back a day or two after he "exterminated" them. I don't however have any written documents that show the dates the exterminator came out. I could get a signatures from the other tenants in the building that all have to deal with the roach infestation if that could help any but I just don't know exactly what to do from here.

As I mentioned previously this is my first time renting so I had no idea that I should have taken pictures or everything so I'm at a loss there. However I would like to know the next steps I could take as to dealing with this issue. I don't know ho well my arguments or possible evidence might hold up in a small claims court or even if my living conditions with the roaches would help at all either. If it would help any I've had been living at my previous apartment for 2 years so I'm assuming I can claim "normal wear and tear" on a few of his damages but again...I'm unsure on this as well.

I've been reading a lot about this these past few days and have had numerous conflicts in information so at the moment I'm just really wondering what my options are.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 10-23-2012, 10:46 AM   #2
AFFA
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Default Re: Suing Landlord in small claims court for excessive damage claims

I wish to inform you that you may reply to your landlord and demand the amount of security deposit. You may also dispute the charges and damages stating that roach infestation was a cause of much damage and such roach infestation had already been reported by you. You may also claim that all the damages claimed were on account of normal wear and tear and you were not liable for payment. Even if they were on account of your negligence you were only responsible or liable to pay the amount for the residual life or depreciated value of the items. You may also inform that if you are taken to Court in the matter then you will claim Costs. You must retain proof of service of your communication to the landlord.

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Old 10-23-2012, 11:43 AM   #3
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Default Re: Suing Landlord in small claims court for excessive damage claims

Thank you for your quick response!

I do have a question concerning the follow statement though.

"You may also inform that if you are taken to Court in the matter then you will claim Costs. You must retain proof of service of your communication to the landlord."

This says I may inform them that if I am taken to court then I will claim costs. However I am fairly doubtful that they won't take this to court. My question is would it be better to just file a claim in small claims court before they decide to take me to court provided I've sent them a response letter or should I definitely wait to see what action they take.

Sorry if any of these questions seem like common knowledge. I'm just really uneducated on how all of this stuff is done.

Thanks again!
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Old 07-27-2016, 08:49 PM   #4
ThriftyPJ
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Default Re: Suing Landlord in small claims court for excessive damage claims

Your old landlord can't charge you for a few of the things he has quoted to you in his letter. He can't charge you for his having to paint the unit because you lived there for two years. He has to paint the unit for his new tenants that is not your responsibility. However, if there was large holes in the walls and he had to replace the dry wall you are responsible for him having to repair holes in the walls. You are not responsible for the fumigation of his property due to a problem with cockroaches or rodents. If there was any hardware damage done in the unit while you were there and you didn't report you will be charged for those items as well as the maintenance to repair. If there was any windows or screens damaged during the time you lived there but was not damaged before you moved in you will be responsible for those repairs as well. Did you turn in the keys when you moved out of the property? If not, you are responsible for him having to replace the locks and you will have to pay for the locks. Was the carpet new when you moved into the unit. If the carpet was new and there are stains that can't be removed because of the excessive amount of dirt or oil or whatever that caused the stains you will have to pay for the removal and replacing the carpet. However, normal wear that a steam cleaner can take care of you will not be charged if you can provide proof. You have not listed 2400 dollars of replacements/repairs the landlord has asked you to pay. What you have listed here is less than 1300 dollars and would be approximately 1100 dollars when you subtract the deposit he is keeping to apply towards the damages. You need to send a certified letter stating to him you do not feel obligated for the charges he has listed and you would be contesting those charges. Don't ignore because if he submit this to the courts for payment and you don't respond you will be charged what he has stated you owe him. Good Luck with your situation.
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Old 07-27-2016, 08:53 PM   #5
Lill
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ThriftyPJ View Post
Your old landlord can't charge you for a few of the things he has quoted to you in his letter. He can't charge you for his having to paint the unit because you lived there for two years. He has to paint the unit for his new tenants that is not your responsibility. However, if there was large holes in the walls and he had to replace the dry wall you are responsible for him having to repair holes in the walls. You are not responsible for the fumigation of his property due to a problem with cockroaches or rodents. If there was any hardware damage done in the unit while you were there and you didn't report you will be charged for those items as well as the maintenance to repair. If there was any windows or screens damaged during the time you lived there but was not damaged before you moved in you will be responsible for those repairs as well. Did you turn in the keys when you moved out of the property? If not, you are responsible for him having to replace the locks and you will have to pay for the locks. Was the carpet new when you moved into the unit. If the carpet was new and there are stains that can't be removed because of the excessive amount of dirt or oil or whatever that caused the stains you will have to pay for the removal and replacing the carpet. However, normal wear that a steam cleaner can take care of you will not be charged if you can provide proof. You have not listed 2400 dollars of replacements/repairs the landlord has asked you to pay. What you have listed here is less than 1300 dollars and would be approximately 1100 dollars when you subtract the deposit he is keeping to apply towards the damages. You need to send a certified letter stating to him you do not feel obligated for the charges he has listed and you would be contesting those charges. Don't ignore because if he submit this to the courts for payment and you don't respond you will be charged what he has stated you owe him. Good Luck with your situation.

I'm sure that after 5 years, the issues have been resolved. Necro posting is against this sites terms of service. Please refrain.
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Old 07-27-2016, 08:56 PM   #6
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Default Re: Suing Landlord in small claims court for excessive damage claims

I happen to be here now for the first time from Google. Facing a similar situation. I see over 2000 people have viewed this discussion.
So the added comment tonight is actually helpful for me. Just FYI.
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Old 07-27-2016, 09:26 PM   #7
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Default Re: Suing Landlord in small claims court for excessive damage claims

In that situation, you start your own thread and ask a question with your specific circumstances.
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Old 07-28-2016, 10:00 AM   #8
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Default Re: Suing Landlord in small claims court for excessive damage claims

I call bullsh*t.
Let's dump everything older than 6 weeks.
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