If an object was wedged into the main entrance to an apartment building not allowing the door to lock, can the landlord fine everyone?

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If an object was wedged into the main entrance to an apartment building not allowing the door to lock, can the landlord fine everyone?

A $75 fine was issued to each tenant. With 12 tenants in the building it totaled $900. The landlord said if the person confesses then they will be the only person fined. Is this legal? It does not seem fair.

Asked on December 20, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Vermont

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The landlord can attempt to fine each of the 12 tenants in the complex $75.00 for what happened but legally the fine is meaningless for the simple reason that it is an indiscriminate penalty as to all tenants for the acts of some unknown person who could live in the complex or not.

I would write the landlord a letter stating that you will not pay the fine and the reasons for the position. If he or she presses you on the subject, I would contact the local landlord tenant clinic in your neighborhood. Better yet, I would try and get all tenants in the complex to follow your example.


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