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Old 10-07-2019, 09:47 PM
 
995 posts, read 275,600 times
Reputation: 2640

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spokaneinvestor View Post
My read is that the tenant’s overt actions amount to approval to pay the garbage fee. If I were you, I would stand my ground, not refund the garbage fee and let the tenant take me to Court. While there may be a scriveners error in the written agreement, the actions of the tenant show intent to pay the garbage fee.

Take my comments as a lay person landlord however I am not afraid of going to Court if I am sued or need to sue.
Second that: be polite, brief, don’t argue and don’t mention her emails to you- (as it is your defense strategy), but print them all out for your file in case she attempts to go to court.
Take detailed photos of damage next to a ruler. Show them to a third party - this will give you an idea if they look” bad enough” if the judge is looking at them...
Could it be considered a routine wear? Maybe you are a perfectionist? If people honestly say they don’t think it is a substantial damage- then let her go with her deposit.

Make sure she gives you a receipt for the remainder of the security deposit- she is not to be trusted if she does not cash the check and goes to court if she is serious...
LL is a tough business...
My lawyer friend even has given up on being LL

Last edited by Nik4me; 10-07-2019 at 09:56 PM..
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Old 10-07-2019, 09:55 PM
 
393 posts, read 95,043 times
Reputation: 764
Quote:
Originally Posted by zinke View Post
Hi Skipito this is the first time I am land lording, I have no idea about how much I should deduct just my feeling.
I wish I could attach some pictures of the yards but it looks like this forum can't upload.
I did my counting and there are 16 holes, two locations where whole rows of threads pulled off, $200 is my simple estimation and I never did any official quote.

I think I would need to deduct yard too, it is in the lease that tenant is responsible for yard management, but over the 14 months the yard was totally neglected.

Spiny plants rise to my shoulder, my feet sink down into the dead leave, it took me 10 hours hard work over the weekend to clean off the yard and move the debris out. Shall I charge 10 hours *$50/hour labor, say $500?
Ok - you need to get a clear process for this, fast!

First thing is that, almost always, the courts will see your labor hours as worthless, unless you are a regular contractor in that field. When it comes to damage, you always contract it out.

Call a carpet company and determine what the repair is going to cost, you cannot use "feelings" as an estimate if it goes to court. You will also want to research your state's deposit laws and carpet wear proration philosophy. Some carpet damage will have to be depreciated if it's through the course of normal wear.

Nothing you can do about the yard now, you'd have to have paid someone to do it. Given your lack of experience and the potential here for you to leave your ass in the wind on a technical error, I'd just offer to return their entire deposit first and see where that gets you.
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Old 10-08-2019, 06:35 AM
 
11,425 posts, read 8,150,952 times
Reputation: 12411
Sure they can request it and they did. They can sue you too, doesn't mean they will win or lose.

You should ask why they paid it if they felt they didn't owe it. You can't agree to pay something you don't think you owe and claim you don't owe it and ask for it back.
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Old 10-08-2019, 07:07 AM
 
393 posts, read 95,043 times
Reputation: 764
Also, ferchrissakes, just add the $50 into the rent and pay the bill yourself.
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Old 10-08-2019, 07:13 AM
 
Location: Columbia, SC
9,204 posts, read 18,299,859 times
Reputation: 6913
Disclaimer - I'm in another state so what applies in your area may be different.

What does the actual lease say? In ours, it specifically lists out with checkboxes on what the landlord will pay on behalf of the tenant. If I don't check that box, it's the tenant responsibility.

For deductions for damage, you need contractor quotes for the repairs and you can deduct based on estimates. Don't use your estimates. That won't fly if you end up in court.

Lots of people threaten court. Few follow through, especially when they know they are wrong. I just dealt with a disgruntled tenant who claimed she was going to take me to court. She damaged the house and left prior to the lease expiration, so when we took it from her deposit she threatened to sue even though she acknowledged her kids damaged the home. After a week of dealing with her harassing calls and threats she finally just left a 1 star google review and moved on.
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Old 10-08-2019, 08:00 AM
 
Location: SW Florida
11,169 posts, read 5,228,045 times
Reputation: 23216
Quote:
Originally Posted by zinke View Post
Hi jghorton I haven't chosen to rescind the agreement and return the payments, I am still trying to find what I should do.
If I deduct $200 dollars for carpet damage by the tenant's cats, the tenant would request refund of the garbage fee $25/months for 14 months and total is $350.
So I am thinking if I deduct $200 for the carpet damage by cats, then the tenant goes to the court to sue me to refund $350 garbage fee over 14 months, I will loose $150.
My goodness - if you can't afford to lose $150 as a landlord you need to get out of that business entirely.
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Old 10-08-2019, 08:02 AM
 
Location: Chicago
3,108 posts, read 5,399,094 times
Reputation: 3606
You could meet them in the middle and eat half of the difference in cost. Perhaps that will shut them up. It sounds to me like you angered them by letting them know you will be deducting for pet damage. I can't say if you're in the right there but I would say this person is purposely being a jerk because they knowingly paid the bill for so long. They probably went through the lease looking for something to use against you. Sorry that happened.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Skipito View Post
Also, ferchrissakes, just add the $50 into the rent and pay the bill yourself.
Agree fully with this statement. Why wouldn't garbage collection be required and expected with ANY rental? Seems odd that you would keep it separate to begin with.
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Old 10-08-2019, 08:07 AM
 
10,338 posts, read 4,847,350 times
Reputation: 13548
Quote:
Originally Posted by zinke View Post
Hi jghorton I haven't chosen to rescind the agreement and return the payments, I am still trying to find what I should do.
If I deduct $200 dollars for carpet damage by the tenant's cats, the tenant would request refund of the garbage fee $25/months for 14 months and total is $350.
So I am thinking if I deduct $200 for the carpet damage by cats, then the tenant goes to the court to sue me to refund $350 garbage fee over 14 months, I will loose $150.

What do you mean "if you deduct $200" for the cats? She may go to court for the garbage fee whether you deduct damage or not. And people seldom follow through on their threats to go to court especially over small change. It's just as much of a hassle for them as for you.
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Old 10-08-2019, 08:14 AM
 
Location: Florida -
8,944 posts, read 11,131,405 times
Reputation: 17414
Quote:
Originally Posted by zinke View Post
Hi jghorton I haven't chosen to rescind the agreement and return the payments, I am still trying to find what I should do.
If I deduct $200 dollars for carpet damage by the tenant's cats, the tenant would request refund of the garbage fee $25/months for 14 months and total is $350.
So I am thinking if I deduct $200 for the carpet damage by cats, then the tenant goes to the court to sue me to refund $350 garbage fee over 14 months, I will loose $150.
Assuming the carpet damage is a legitimate deduction (?), the possible garbage fee 'request' is definitely not. The tenant seems to be trying to extort $600 from you in carpet damage and garbage fees, with a threat to sue). Stick to your guns and tell them you will counter-sue for legal fees and court costs of $1000+, if they pursue their stated course of action.

Last edited by jghorton; 10-08-2019 at 08:36 AM..
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Old 10-08-2019, 08:35 AM
 
11,425 posts, read 8,150,952 times
Reputation: 12411
Quote:
Originally Posted by zinke View Post
Hi jghorton I haven't chosen to rescind the agreement and return the payments, I am still trying to find what I should do.
If I deduct $200 dollars for carpet damage by the tenant's cats, the tenant would request refund of the garbage fee $25/months for 14 months and total is $350.
So I am thinking if I deduct $200 for the carpet damage by cats, then the tenant goes to the court to sue me to refund $350 garbage fee over 14 months, I will loose $150.
If you are sued and lose you also will have to pay for the filing fee of the person who sues you. If you withhold money wrongly in certain states you may be liable for twice the amount. Plus if you work and have to go to court you miss a days pay.
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