If my previous landlord is trying to make me pay for property damage that was already there when I moved in, is there anything I can do?

He is saying that there is floor damage and a hole in the wall an water damage. When we moved in we asked him to fix the leaks and there were already holes in the walls and the water damage is from the leaks. Also, he is trying to say that we put holes in the tiles but we did not put it there.

Asked on July 20, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Legally, you  are only responsible for damage you (and your family, guests, pets) did--not for pre-existing damage. Practically, if you don't have any evidence that the damage was pre-existing--such as an inspection sheet from when you moved in, or photographs--it may be difficult for you to prove that you were not responsible, and the landlord may able to hold you liable. If you emailed the landord your concerns about leaks/holes/etc., or otherwise had put it in writing (especially in some form where you can prove delivery), that would be very helpful.



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