Can Landlord Sue Tenant (me) for damages exceeding deposit??

This is a discussion on Can Landlord Sue Tenant (me) for damages exceeding deposit?? within the Landlord vs Tenant Issues forum, part of the REAL ESTATE & PROPERTY LAW category; CALIFORNIA I lived at my previous address for 2 & 1/2 years, paid rent faithfully. It was a very hard ...

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Old Jan 25th, 2012, 02:25 PM   #1
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Confused Can Landlord Sue Tenant (me) for damages exceeding deposit??

CALIFORNIA

I lived at my previous address for 2 & 1/2 years, paid rent faithfully.

It was a very hard time in my life as a widowed mom w 6 children. (I realize this is irrelevant, just saying)

Moving out was much more work than I could do, but with help got all our things out in time, yet was not able to address some repairs that were needed & didn't do a good job cleaning either. In my mind it wasn't worth the added stress & I just didnt have the resources to do it... figured landlord would be keeping my deposit & had resolved to that fact.

There were a few items in urgent need of repair and I did notify my landlord when I saw the damage. One was the kitchen ceiling had developed a bubble from a leak upstairs at the shower site. I had no idea it was leaking until damage had developed. I did inform my landlord of this via phone and email but it happened to be at the time I was also giving my 30 day notice. They came and looked at it and decided to do work after I moved out. Also there was a plumbing leak in my upstairs bathroom that my kids used, that I was unaware of, causing damage to the cabinet under the sink. These were things discovered during my final walk through with them, as well as some other water damage behind the washing machine on the hardwood floor, water damage underneath my water cooler area causing a curling up of the hardwood floor, etc. Carpets were soiled & stained in areas. Other repairs that were minor were listed. They told me they had to repaint the entire house as well (walls were NOT that bad and were from living there 2 and 1/2 years!) so that started making me wonder if they were taking advantage of me??

After the walkthrough the landlord asked me "HOW ARE YOU GOING TO PAY US for the damages you did to the property?" I said, well you have my security deposit. They said it was not enough to cover the damages and I needed to come up with the money or they would sue.

I told them I would look into getting advice before I answered that as I had never heard of that, plus didnt just have extra money, I was moving to lower my rent as it was!

I just got a phone call saying they have finished the repairs at my previous residence and again asking how am I going to pay for this???

Can landlords sue me for damages I left to their property, even though I paid my rent for all that time and they are keeping my security deposit?

Thank you so much for your response in advance....
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Old Jan 25th, 2012, 03:32 PM   #2
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Default Re: Can Landlord Sue Tenant (me) for damages exceeding deposit??

I wish to inform you that your landlord can recover the loss which have been caused by you. In this the damage to property must not be because of ordinary wear and tear. The damage must be because of your acts. Further your landlord is required to provide you a list of losses mentioning items for which amount is claimed as well as amount for which security deposit is settled. If the damage done to building because of your or your kids act is more then security deposit then you are liable to pay. If damage is less then security deposit then you can claim back your security amount. If your tenancy has ended and 21 days have passed and no written demand is made nor information of offset of your security deposit is provided then your landlord cannot claim and you may claim back your security deposit as then your landlord has lost his right to claim.

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Old Jan 25th, 2012, 04:37 PM   #3
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Default Re: Can Landlord Sue Tenant (me) for damages exceeding deposit??

Can landlord sue tenant for damages exceeding deposit??

In a word: YES.

If the damages are beyond normal wear and tear, of course the LL may sue you for damages exceeding your deposit.

If you cannot pay this, the LL is likely to take you to small claims court and get a judgement against you for the amount of damages & repairs that are beyond normal wear and tear which exceed the amount of your deposit. If you are unable to pay, then this goes on your credit report and the debt may be turned over to a collections agency. This, much like an eviction, will follow you all your days.

Did you never look or clean your upstairs bathroom or clean/check the cabinet under the sink? Seems you'd have noticed a leak if you had, so that *might be* considered negligence on your part.

Water damage behind the washing machine...again, you never noticed water on the floor? Really?

Water leaking under the water cooler--and you and your family used the water cooler and no one ever noticed? Was it *your* water cooler? Then you're definitely responsible for the damage...if it was a water cooler provided by the LL and you never "noticed" the leak under it, it could very well be considered negligence on your part. Soiled and stained carpets--your security deposit should cover this but the carpet may have been so soiled and stained that special treatment may have been needed & this comes out of your security deposit. If they had to replace the carpet, well, most carpets last more than 2.5 years so that cost (or a prorated percentage) may be charged to you as well.

Your post already said you were not able to address some repairs that were needed and you didn't do a good job cleaning either and you just didn't have the resources to do it. Now you get to pay because it sounds like you're on the hook for paying for cleaning, damages and repairs that are beyond normal wear and tear.

You just cannot get off scott-free by figuring the security deposit would cover everything because you didn't want the stress of cleaning and repairs and doing things yourself. Now you get to pay (or get sued) for not having that stress. Lesson learned.
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Old Jan 25th, 2012, 09:08 PM   #4
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Default Re: Can Landlord Sue Tenant (me) for damages exceeding deposit??

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2day78 View Post
CALIFORNIA

I lived at my previous address for 2 & 1/2 years, paid rent faithfully.

It was a very hard time in my life as a widowed mom w 6 children. (I realize this is irrelevant, just saying)

Moving out was much more work than I could do, but with help got all our things out in time, yet was not able to address some repairs that were needed & didn't do a good job cleaning either. In my mind it wasn't worth the added stress & I just didnt have the resources to do it... figured landlord would be keeping my deposit & had resolved to that fact.

There were a few items in urgent need of repair and I did notify my landlord when I saw the damage. One was the kitchen ceiling had developed a bubble from a leak upstairs at the shower site. I had no idea it was leaking until damage had developed. I did inform my landlord of this via phone and email but it happened to be at the time I was also giving my 30 day notice. They came and looked at it and decided to do work after I moved out. Also there was a plumbing leak in my upstairs bathroom that my kids used, that I was unaware of, causing damage to the cabinet under the sink. These were things discovered during my final walk through with them, as well as some other water damage behind the washing machine on the hardwood floor, water damage underneath my water cooler area causing a curling up of the hardwood floor, etc. Carpets were soiled & stained in areas. Other repairs that were minor were listed. They told me they had to repaint the entire house as well (walls were NOT that bad and were from living there 2 and 1/2 years!) so that started making me wonder if they were taking advantage of me??

After the walkthrough the landlord asked me "HOW ARE YOU GOING TO PAY US for the damages you did to the property?" I said, well you have my security deposit. They said it was not enough to cover the damages and I needed to come up with the money or they would sue.

I told them I would look into getting advice before I answered that as I had never heard of that, plus didnt just have extra money, I was moving to lower my rent as it was!

I just got a phone call saying they have finished the repairs at my previous residence and again asking how am I going to pay for this???

Can landlords sue me for damages I left to their property, even though I paid my rent for all that time and they are keeping my security deposit?

Thank you so much for your response in advance....
Of course you can be held liable for damages you and your children did to the property. If those damages exceed the amount of the security deposit, then of course they can sue you to recover the balance.

Why would you think they couldn't? Did you think that your security deposit balance somehow limited your exposure for any damages to the property? If so, your thinking is very wrong.

It's not the LLs fault that you are short on money. You need to take responsibility for your actions and find a way to repay the LL for the damages you caused.
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Old Jun 30th, 2013, 04:29 PM   #5
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Default Re: Can Landlord Sue Tenant (me) for damages exceeding deposit??

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Originally Posted by Needlebanger View Post
"Oh ok landlord, my almighty God, ill just pay you roughly $14,000 out of my own pocket per year, then have you b*tch about some scratched walls & a broken faucet etc. at the end of the agreement so you can keep another few thousand of my dollars..." So at the end of the day, who is getting screwed here? We aren't gonna suck off your property before we move out, if anything you should be sucking off the tenants before they leave for paying your mortgage for you. This whole thing is BS. If all those brain dead American banks didn't give loans out to armless crackheads then the price of all this crap (mortgages, rent) would be waaaaay down.
We're just a bunch of servants in the eyes of these people, no kidding we don't suck the cum off the tip before we move out of your property!
Landlording is a business. In exchange for YOU paying their mortgage in the form of rent, YOU get the privilege of living in their property. It ain't free, and they aren't doing you any favors.

While LLs are obligated to maintain their property and take care of things that are a result of normal wear and tear, the person who damages the property in their everyday living activities should certainly be held liable for paying for that damage, just as the LL would if he were living in the home.

Obviously, you either damaged the rental property and the LL held you liable (and god forbid, how dare they do that!), or they tried to put one over on you and you didn't realize it until it was too late. In both cases, shame on YOU.

If the LL tried to overcharge you on repairs to their property, then the law allows you legal recourse to challenge their claims, and a judge can tell them they're wrong and hold them responsible.

If YOU thrashed their property, simply because you figure it wasn't your house, then you should be held responsible, financially, for what you did.
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