how much to compensate a tenant

Hello – NYC – 2 family house. Tenant who occupies the lower
level which includes the basement had water damage to an 8
yr. old mattress and a 1 yr. old rug she pd. 100 for the rug.
No receipt for the mattress. The damage came from rain that
seeped thru the hatch door and went thru the flr. molding into
her space. I offered her 200 for both, she wants 350. I
counter offered 275. How much am I realistically
responsible for. Many thks.

Asked on June 25, 2017 under Real Estate Law, New York


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

You are only liable for the THEN-CURRENT value of the items destroyed by your fault: that is, the value of a 1-year old rug and 8-year old mattress (which is likely $0 or close to $0). That is likely no more than (and may be less than) the $275 you offered her. If she wants more than you are willing to pay, yoiu could let her sue you (e.g. in small claims court): in court, she'd have to prove the then-current fair market value, and could only get the amount she could prove.

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