Am I legally liable to pay for my landlords compounding interest, late fees and fee added to a bill that the landlord paid without agreeing to terms?

About a year ago my pup caused some damange to the home I rent. I told my landlord I would pay for the damages and all the land lord had to do was quote a price to me. The damange was minor. Some insulation was ripped from a garage door. The landlord replaced the door and then charged the bill on their own even though I said I would charge it to my own card. Almost a year has passed and I have not paid the landlord back for this because everytime I bought up paying the land lord agreed they wanted the full payment of original $X. Today I was told to pay the original $X+interest or be evicted

Asked on August 19, 2012 under Real Estate Law, California


Janet Martin / Janet Martin Attorney at Law

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Probably not a black and white answer but I am leaning toward no you are not liable for the interest, UNLESS, the lease itself actually states something about damages that are not fully paid from the deposit accruing interest, then you'll have a hard time saying interest shouldn't accrue.. I think your problem is you didn't make any payment arrangement agreement with LL, and probably just should have been making some kind of payments all this year; I doubt the LL would refuse a payment to be appied, and you would be in a much stronger case position. You should make this offer now, in writing, re-iterating you had every intention to put in on YOUR credit card as you told him and he went ahead and paid himself. If he does bring an eviction action, you ned to file an answer tht you are up to date in the rent and he has a damage deopsit to cover the damages, and it's up to the judge. Why don't you tell him to take the non-interest portion out of your deposit, and make a payment plan with him to replenish the deposit on a monthly amount; remind him a timely paying tenant is more desirable than an empty house. Remind him also if he files an eviction action, you might think twice about paying next months rent as well--although you are legally responsible..Best solution is to communicate and work it out. Maybe a lawyers letter stating the same might get him to realize a paying tenant makes more sense than his eviction threats and an unrented home.

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