Do I have a right to ask for proof of damages?

I know real Estate and Renting issues are different but I couldn’t ask in that
topic. Anyhow, my landlord did a garage inspection last month and gave me a
bill, today, of 600 worth of damages. I know these damages were not there but
I, of course, do not have proof because I didn’t think I would need any. They
did not inform ever me that they had found damages or that they were going to do
repairs. In fact, as far as I can tell, they didn’t even do any repairs. I was
in and out that day and I never saw anyone working in our garage. I’m wondering
if have the right to ask for proof of damages before I am liable for this bill?

Asked on March 7, 2016 under Real Estate Law, Wisconsin

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You can ask, but outside of a lawsuit, you have no ability to compel the landlord to share this information or documentation. What will happen next is, if you have a security deposit and the landlord takes the money out of it at some point, you could then--if you disagree--sue him to recover the money, and in the course of the lawsuit, he will have to provide evidence or proof of some sort (including by witness testimony). Or if the landlord doesn't take the money out of a security deposit, he may try to sue you for the money if you won't pay it voluntarily; if so, in the course of the suit, he will have to prove the existence and extent of the damages--i.e. provide the evidence.


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