If my landlord is seeks additional payment for things already damaged in our house and wishes to take us in court, can we counter-sue?

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If my landlord is seeks additional payment for things already damaged in our house and wishes to take us in court, can we counter-sue?

Her allegations of property damage are outrageous, but we don’t have much proof. No “before” pictures from when we moved in. We also were there a day lateafter the lease ended. Her letters to us have been lacking professionalism, bordering on harassment. Landlord never once came to inspect house throughout our time living there. She wants an additional $2500 on top of our security deposits for reasons ranging from water damage to providing lunch and drinks to her cleaning crew for the house. What can we do?

Asked on July 2, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

Andrew Goldberg

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You can go to Court and defend the case. By a preponderance of the evidence, the landlord has the burden of proving both the existence of the alleged damages and the costs to repair. The costs of repair has to be reasonable For the lunch and drinks, the Court will not awar5d reimbursement for that. In fact, if she includes that in her Complaint, it is so ridiculous it will help you discredit her. As to the water damage, that has to be something you or the other tenants caused. If the water damage was no fault of your own but was rather from a leaky roof or leaky windows, you are not responsible for  that. S , maybe you and the other tenants together go to court and testify against the landlord and let the judge decide who has to pay for what.


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