What to do if I my landlord is charging us $200 on top of our security deposit for damages but has no proof that there was damage?

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What to do if I my landlord is charging us $200 on top of our security deposit for damages but has no proof that there was damage?

I just got out of my lease. The lease does state we are liable for damages but these damages were done to the house while we were there. When we arrived the house was already in disrepair and we complied with all the rules of the house. He has given us no evidence that there was damage or that it was fixed. All we received was an invoice for $200 with damages listed and costs.

Asked on July 26, 2012 under Real Estate Law, West Virginia

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If you have a written lease please review it to see if there has been a specific deadline included for return of the deposit. Otherwise, there is no specific deadline under WV law for refund of a security deposit in a lease. If your lease does not say anything about when the deposit is refunded, then your landlord has what is called a "reasonable time" under the law to return it. What is “reasonable” can depend on the circumstances.  Your landlord has a reasonable time to (1) refund your deposit, or (2) explain why he is not giving some or all of it back. Give your old landlord your new address or make sure your mail is being forwarded so that you will get the letter.  If they do not return the deposit then sue in Magistrate Cort.  Then they wll have to prove their damages (and you have to prove that theer were none incurred by you).  Good luck.


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