What to do if my former lanlord is saying that I owe an outrageous amount in damages?

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What to do if my former lanlord is saying that I owe an outrageous amount in damages?

I gave a landlord $900 in security deposit. Upon exiting the landlord did not want to do a walk through. He kept my security deposit plus 2 weeks later saying that there is $2800 in damages.

Asked on December 21, 2012 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

The landlord may only withhold amounts from your security deposit, or seek additional amounts from you,

1) For unpaid rent (or other fees/costs contained in a written lease--like late fees, parking charges [if any], etc.);

2) For the actual cost to repair damage to the rental unit, beyond ordinary "wear and tear," caused by you (or your family, guests, pets).

If you believe the landlord withheld amounts to which he is not entitled, you could sue him, such as in small claims court (where you could act as your own attorney) for the money. Or if you let him keep the $900 but he wants the extra $1,900, he'll have to sue you and prove his case (that he is entitled to the money) in court.


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