Is this grounds for a case?
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Is this grounds for a case?
My name is Jeremy and I am 20 years old.
Me and my girlfriend lived in a small
home we rented in Norfolk va. Now that
we have left, our realtor has an endless
amount of excuses to fee us. 1. They
autorenewed our lease even though we
specifically said we did not wish them
too. 2. They routinely ignored our
complaints about other tenants theft,
and breach of contracts that affected
us. 3. I mailed the keys to their
address with a letter and was told the
keys were not in the letter. I have 2
witnesses who saw me place them in and
wish to fee me several hundred dollars
for rekeying and locksmith bills. When I
chose to argue this I was ignored,
transferred, and called a liar. I want
to know if this is grounds for a suit
for breach of duty, negligence, or even
ageism. Thank you.
Asked on May 21, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Virginia
SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney
Answered 5 years ago | Contributor
First, there is no age-related protection for 20 year olds: only older (40 and up) persons are protected by laws barring age discrimination.
If you have incurred costs that you believe are wrong--such as if you had to pay additional months rent due to an auto-renewal that you believe should not have occured--you can sue them for the money, for breach of contract (violating the terms of the lease): you would need to prove in court that under the terms of the lease, what they did was wrong (for example, that you did whatever you were supposed to in order to prevent auto-renewal).
If they try to charge you for the keys, you can refuse to pay and force them to sue you. But note that just proving you mailed them does *not* prove the keys were delived to them: items do get lost in the mail. If the court believes their testimony that they never received the keys, you can legitimately be charged any amounts that the terms of the lease allow you to be charged, since your obligation was to not just drop the keys in the mail but to make sure they received them. In the future, when you cannot drop them off in person and get a receipt, send them certified mail or Fed Ex with tracking, so you can prove receipt.
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