Are we responsible for paying to replace broken/cracked concrete in the driveway of the duplex apartment that we rented?

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Are we responsible for paying to replace broken/cracked concrete in the driveway of the duplex apartment that we rented?

Our former landlord is keeping our entire security deposit, $730 + interest, on the grounds that we damaged the concrete in the shared driveway and he needs to replace it. My boyfriend did park his large work vehicle in the driveway, but only after we made sure it was OK with the landlord. We rented the apartment for 4 years and the landlord never made any comments about the truck being parked in the driveway until we moved out. The other thing is that the side of the driveway that belonged to the apartment we rented, the side where the truck was parked, was replaced at some point in time before we moved it and is still in perfect condition. The only portion of the driveway that is cracked and damaged is the adjacent side of the driveway and the sidewalk which is the original, 40 year old concrete, which had cracks and weeds growing through it before we moved in. There is nothing in our lease stating that large vehicles should not be parked in the driveway or that the common areas are the responsibility of the tenants.

Asked on July 11, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The first thing you need to do for a more definite answer to your question is to carefully read the written lease that you have with your landlord regarding obligations for repairing items at the rented proerty during your tenancy.

The lease agreement (assuming you have a written agreement) typically would control on this issue.

Next, before you moved in, did you notice the concrete that the landlord claims was damaged during your tenancy? If so, was its condition before move in similar to that after move out? If so, was there a written document mentioning the problems with the concrete before you moved in signed by you and the landlord?

If so, and the damage is essentially the same, then you should not be responsible for the pre-existing damaged concrete. However, if you or some third person damaged the concrete during your occupation of the property, then most likely you would be responsible for its repair.


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