What can I do to stop our ex-landlord from garnishing our wages?

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What can I do to stop our ex-landlord from garnishing our wages?

We moved out about 3 weeks ago. She is trying ot charge us for all of the month even though we moved out on the 8th. She lost the right to evict us for the previous month since she did not file it within the 30 days required. We tried to make an agreement with her that since my husband did alot of repairs on the house (we don’t have all the receipts from it but most of them). We told her to keep the deposit and she is trying to tell us that when she took over from her ex-husband we should have “repaid” her the deposit. It was supposed to be transferred. She is also suing both my husband and I separately. We think that is wrong as well. What can we do?

Asked on August 2, 2011 Iowa

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Listen, skipping out on the rent is not something that an attorney can help you do.  But if you have legitimate gripes and claims against her then that is a different story.  First, you need to answer both of the complaints filed against you and your husband.  Otherwise she will take a default judgement against you.  Both or you raise the following affirmative defense: that the landlord breached the warranty of habitability and you are entitled to a set off on the rent for repairs made that were the obligation of the landlord and that were not completed by the landlord in a timely manner (I am assuming that notice was given them about the repairs) and an abatement of the rent.  If there was ever a time when any appliance went or there was a pest control problem or no heat or whatever, you are entitled to money back from the rent.  Next, you have to counterclaim for the security deposit.  That is for normal wear and tear.  Generally landlords have to prove the damage.  You can prove there was no damage.  And you are correct that it is transferred upon sale or transfer of property. No need to pay a new one. Last, ask the clerk to help you make a motion to consolidate the suits.  They should not be separate.  Good luck.


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