Tenant breaking the lease agreement, demanding security deposit be returned

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Tenant breaking the lease agreement, demanding security deposit be returned

Tenant has 1yr agreement, wants out because, claims there is mold in the shower, ie a mushroom growing. Landlord claims, it was not there when tenant moved in. Landlord states tenant is dirty and does not clean, it could happen anywhere ,if water is not dryed off. Tenant demands security deposit back and has note from doctor who has the rights in this case

Asked on June 17, 2009 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You have the right, now, to inspect this reported problem.  Get in touch with the tenant, arrange a time very soon that works for both of you.  Take along a camera and take pictures.

If it's as you suspect, just a matter of not cleaning, it's not your problem, and you write the tenant a letter saying so.  Otherwise, if the mold is in the wall somehow, you need to have it taken care of, and you need to talk to an attorney in your area, about your rights and the tenant's based on all of the facts.  One place to find a lawyer is our website, http://attorneypages.com

J.M.A., Member in Good Standing of the Connecticut Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

The landlord only has to provide the tenant with a roof, running water, electricty and heat.  The tenant is responsible to keep the property clean.  If the mushroom was not there when the tenant moved in the tenant has a problem and can be held liable for breach of the lease.  The tenant does not get the security deposit back.  At best the tenant and landlord can make a deal to let the tenat out of the lease for a compromised payments.  Absent that, the tenant will be liable for the balance of the lease term.


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