Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Business & FinanceRenting & Real Estate · 9 months ago

Landlord is attempting to make us pay for damages that was not our fault?

This time around last year, my significant other and I moved into a two bedroom apartment. We were in urgent need of a home so the landlord allowed for us to move our furniture and items into the home before repairing anything . After settling our items , the landlord decided to not finish re-modeling the apartment.

The tiles on the floor were broken and some were even missing, two of the closet doors had holes in them, the cabinets and drawers weren’t attached properly and were missing a couple of boards and the windows were missing the screens. Some of them were even loose and wouldn’t open at ALL.

Recently, one of the windows fell on the kitchen sink and bent the faucet so now there’s a crack and water leaks from the crack and not the head of the faucet.

We were in the process of moving out, only a week left and now our landlord wants to make us pay for those damages that were not our fault. HE claimed he would fix them prior or a few weeks after we moved in and he DIDNT.

Our mistake was not taking pictures of the damages prior to settling in.

My question is, does he have a right to do this and can he get away with it? Is there any way to avoid paying for those damages? Also, is it mandatory for him to return the security deposit ?

Thank you

21 Answers

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  • 9 months ago

    Sounds like a typical scummy scammer landlord . Unfortunately there are a lot of landlords like that. In the future always take pics prier to moving in and signing the papers . Best of luck to you

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  • 9 months ago

    Unfortunately every landlord does this so they can keep your security deposit. always have proof in hand

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  • 9 months ago

    And this is my fault how

    • oklatom
      Lv 7
      8 months agoReport

      Not your fault if you can appear in court with copies of the letters you sent him by certified mail asking the prior damages be fixed.

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  • 9 months ago

    This is an extreme truth. From the very beginning of civilization, the poor have been exploited and oppressed by the rich. We have to make a movement to survive this atrocity.

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  • B
    Lv 7
    9 months ago

    this landlord scam was prevalent in the northwest suburb of Chicago, it's apparently a way for a landlord to get out of costs he's accumulated. without photos, how do you prove your case.

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  • 9 months ago

    Well, now that you are in this situation I suggest you take pictures of it all as it is now and move out (and understand you'll never get a reference from this landlord - that bridge is burned). When he refuses to refund your deposit (notice I said when, not if) you can take him to small claims court and just hope the judge believes you and not him.

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  • 9 months ago

    You should have taken pictures, you should have followed up on the repairs. You have no proof of any of this.

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  • 9 months ago

    Yes, your BIG mistake was not documenting the condition when you moved in. Now it's going to be his word against yours if it gets in front of a judge. If he's a very good liar, you are going to lose.

    Read your state law for the time period in which a landlord must send an itemized accounting of damages for which security deposit is being kept. Any unused portion of security is to be returned with the accounting. That time period varies by state. It is YOUR job as a tenant to know the law in your state.

    This will probably be an expensive lesson learned - always photo/video the condition upon moving in AND moving out.

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  • 9 months ago

    This will probably turn into he said, she said.  The fact the window fell inward should be to your advantage.  As far as the other renovations you should have sent him a written list of the work to be done.

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  • DEBS
    Lv 7
    9 months ago

    Your state laws apply. No it's not legal for him to hold a deposit for things you did not damage. He needs to follow your state laws though in withholding. Typically that means a certain amount of time for him to itemize and provide in writing the deductions to your deposit and return any remaining balance. Many states don't allow him to keep any deposit if doesn't do this. You would have to sue if he refuses to give back the deposit. Some states allow the judges to award damages if they feel the landlord knew he was illegally keeping the deposit.

    If it were me, I'd look for pictures you took around the place from around the time you moved in that might show at least some of the damage. The more you can show as early as possible, even if there are people in the pictures, then the more you can convince a judge that he's just lying about everything. Also look for any texts or other communication where he says he's going to fix something thus admitting it was damaged.

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