Is my security deposit responsible for a roommate’s animal’s destruction at the property, if the lease clearly states no animals?

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Is my security deposit responsible for a roommate’s animal’s destruction at the property, if the lease clearly states no animals?

Asked on June 14, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Tenants are responsible for all damage done by them, their families, their guests, or their pets, even if such damage comes from an act which violates the lease and/or the law. The landlord may take the cost of replacement or repair out of the total security deposit for the premises--the landlord is not required to attempt to ascertain or determine responsibility among the roommates.

You, however, would have good grounds to sue your roommate to recover any amounts taken from your share of the deposit, on the grounds that the obligation to pay was incurred due to his or her wrongful (violating the lease, which is a contract to which you and the roommate are both parties) act. A good option would be to sue in small claims court, where you can act as your own attorney.


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