What to do about a deduction from a securrity deposit?

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What to do about a deduction from a securrity deposit?

I have a rental property. My lease stipulates that the tenants are responsible for maintaining the exterior lawn and shrubbery. The tree overhanging my driveway is actually my neighbor’s tree but as I understand it any branches extending over on to my property is my, or in this case, my tenant’s responsibility. They claimed to have removed a few branches. I was out of town when they moved out. I later obtained 3 estimates for this light tree work. The cheapest was $500 and I went with that one. The problem is that my tenants want their full security deposit back as they feel they did enough. I disagree as of course did the landscaping company owner. My tenants have cashed the $2000 check I sent.

Asked on August 22, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Virginia

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Under the laws of all states in this country, if a neighbor's tree has branches extending on another person's property the adjoining property owner "may" remove the branches but is not required to do so. From what you have written the tenants are entitled to their full security deposit back in that a security deposit under the law is to compensate the landlord for damages caused by the tenant not the failure to maintain the property's landscape.


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