Can I get my security deposit back if the place that I was renting caught fire due to my dryer?

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Can I get my security deposit back if the place that I was renting caught fire due to my dryer?

The fire department ruled the fire accidental. However neither the landlord, HOA or I I had insuranace.

Asked on April 9, 2012 under Real Estate Law, North Carolina

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If you were responsible for the fire, the landlord may retain your deposit to pay for the damage--and even sue you for any amounts not covered by the deposit.

You can be responsible and legally at fault even if the fire was no deliberate or intentional; liability, or the legal obligation to pay, can arise from negligence, or excessive carelessness. So if the problem occurred, for example, because you never cleaned the dryer event, or did not take any action to repair or replace a frayed electric cord which sparked, or any cause which would have been preventable had you performed normal cleaning or maintenance, you could be liable for the fire.


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