If my previous landlord wrongfully deducted a huge amount from my deposit and is now insisting I pay him back, what are my options?

My previous landlord is refusing to return my deposit and is instead saying I owe him over $2000 in damages and cleaning costs. He refused to do a walk through with me upon moving out so I was never allowed to “fix” any of the “problems” he feels I left the house in. The house was in better repair upon my moving out then it was moving in. Also, I offered to re-seed the front lawn because of my dogs and the downstairs tenants dog and he told me not to because he was planning on tearing the lawn up, yet he is charging me $1500 to repair it.

Asked on July 14, 2012 under Real Estate Law, South Dakota


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Your options with respect to the claim of your former landlord for more money for damages to the unit you formerly occupied are as follows:

1. ignore the demand;

2. write back and contest all or part of it and if part is being contested pay the amount not being contested;

3. agree that you owe the full amount demanded and pay the demand;

4. agree that some amount is owed and agree to pay such amount over time.

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