Tenant arguing damages
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Tenant arguing damages (by Sara [FL]) May 9, 2019 12:31 PM
       Tenant arguing damages (by Sara [FL]) May 9, 2019 12:36 PM
       Tenant arguing damages (by Busy [WI]) May 9, 2019 1:02 PM
       Tenant arguing damages (by Nellie [ME]) May 9, 2019 1:20 PM
       Tenant arguing damages (by LisaFL [FL]) May 9, 2019 1:25 PM
       Tenant arguing damages (by Vee [OH]) May 9, 2019 2:41 PM
       Tenant arguing damages (by GKARL [PA]) May 9, 2019 2:43 PM
       Tenant arguing damages (by Sara [FL]) May 9, 2019 3:58 PM
       Tenant arguing damages (by S i d [MO]) May 9, 2019 4:57 PM
       Tenant arguing damages (by BRAD 20,000 [IN]) May 10, 2019 12:16 AM
       Tenant arguing damages (by nhsailmaker [NH]) May 10, 2019 7:09 AM
       Tenant arguing damages (by plenty [MO]) May 10, 2019 7:48 AM
       Tenant arguing damages (by plenty [MO]) May 10, 2019 7:50 AM
       Tenant arguing damages (by J [FL]) May 10, 2019 8:30 AM
       Tenant arguing damages (by JKJ [MA]) May 10, 2019 8:48 AM
       Tenant arguing damages (by plenty [MO]) May 10, 2019 9:31 AM
       Tenant arguing damages (by Salernitana [CA]) May 10, 2019 10:57 AM
       Tenant arguing damages (by Sara [FL]) May 10, 2019 11:22 AM
       Tenant arguing damages (by Busy [WI]) May 10, 2019 12:48 PM
       Tenant arguing damages (by Doogie [KS]) May 10, 2019 12:50 PM
       Tenant arguing damages (by SAra [FL]) May 10, 2019 1:55 PM
       Tenant arguing damages (by JKJ [MA]) May 10, 2019 4:06 PM
       Tenant arguing damages (by Busy [WI]) May 10, 2019 4:15 PM
       Tenant arguing damages (by Busy [WI]) May 10, 2019 4:15 PM
       Tenant arguing damages (by Busy [WI]) May 10, 2019 4:16 PM
       Tenant arguing damages (by BRAD 20,000 [IN]) May 10, 2019 4:42 PM
       Tenant arguing damages (by BRAD 20,000 [IN]) May 10, 2019 4:44 PM
       Tenant arguing damages (by Sara [FL]) May 11, 2019 7:04 AM
       Tenant arguing damages (by Sara [FL]) May 11, 2019 7:06 AM
       Tenant arguing damages (by CGB [MI]) May 11, 2019 8:14 AM
       Tenant arguing damages (by J [FL]) May 11, 2019 9:11 AM
       Tenant arguing damages (by Nellie [ME]) May 11, 2019 11:35 AM
       Tenant arguing damages (by CX [WA]) May 11, 2019 2:37 PM

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Tenant arguing damages (by Sara [FL]) Posted on: May 9, 2019 12:31 PM
Message:

I have a tenant who is moving out in 3 weeks. In the 23 months he will have lived here, he has violated the lease several times and tries to negotiate things that he already signed in the lease, and we are all exhausted. For long story, read past history, for short story, skip it.

Past history: Tenant puts up above-ground pool without notifying LL. Tenant puts up trampoline without notifying LL. Tenant argues removing trampoline and asks several times for LL's insurance agent's phone number to speak with her. Tenant is late for rent X2, LL only charges 1 late fee (out of good faith) and Tenant refuses to pay it for 3 months by ignoring requests, Tenant states he has talked to other renters in the neighborhood and is paying too much and wants to renegotiate the lease 45 days in advance of signing 2nd year lease (we refuse and he stays anyways and signs, though signature takes 4 emails from real estate agent because he 'never seems to receive them'), tenant asks to leave early in May and LL agrees in good faith but tenant is not ready until June, tenant tries to renegotiate cleaning fee that has been in both leases signed.

Current situation: My real estate agent did a quick walk-through before the house was placed in the rental market, we noticed that the ceramic floor tile of the kitchen was cracked into 3 parts and that the T-molding in two places was not in place. Tenant has been very vocal that he "expects to receive his full deposit back" and that me or my real estate agent "should tell him what he's supposed to fix". I told him to fix the ceramic tile and the t-molding. He states the ceramic tile broke from simply walking on it and that it was installed incorrectly (this is simply not true as that ceramic tile has been there for years, no tiles are loose or uneven or not flush), and that the t-molding was damaged because of water damage from the washer (the washer did have its valves replaced back in Nov to fix this problem) but we were never told of the damage it had caused last year, and the laminate flooring that is closer to the washer than the t-molding is is not bowed or damaged, so why would the t-molding be? My tenant is very argumentative and I have explained to him that normal wear and tear is OK but these items are excessive damage that need to be fixed ahead of time or we will deduct from his deposit. In response to his last email, we did give him details and asked for pictures (which he still hasn't sent) and instead to fixing them he wants to argue me on them. We don't want legal trouble and we don't want to get screwed by him either. Should I ask for pictures? Should I tell him either way they need to get replaced or our handyman will do it when he leaves? I don't think he'd take us to court, he seems too irresponsible to manage that but this story about the broken tile, he simply walked on it, I don't believe it, and do I have to?

--73.137.xx.xx




Tenant arguing damages (by Sara [FL]) Posted on: May 9, 2019 12:36 PM
Message:

Also, another question, if tenant is claiming water damages to the t-molding which technically happened last Nov (2018) or earlier, but has never reported them to us until now, are these claims still valid? He has never once mentioned these before. --73.137.xx.xx




Tenant arguing damages (by Busy [WI]) Posted on: May 9, 2019 1:02 PM
Message:

Say it once. And then stop.

Heís sucking you in to his Ďloves to argueí mentality. --70.92.xxx.xxx




Tenant arguing damages (by Nellie [ME]) Posted on: May 9, 2019 1:20 PM
Message:

Tell him that he will receive a letter with his security deposit return detailing any damages that were charged. Get his new address so that you may mail it. Tell him it takes 2-3 weeks to process. This gives you enough time to find and repair any damage. We do not ever give the tenant his security deposit on move out day.

Tell him that if there is no damage then he will get his deposit back. Donít argue with him. It will do no good. Hopefully you took lots of pics at move in and will take careful pics of the move out damages. If he sues you for the unreturned security deposit you will need them. --70.105.xxx.xxx




Tenant arguing damages (by LisaFL [FL]) Posted on: May 9, 2019 1:25 PM
Message:

Be sure to read the Florida statutes on what you are required to do (timelines) and say (verbiage). This way you will be protected if he contests. If you don't follow the law he is due his full deposit times two. At least this is what I remember...you can lose your right to claim any damages if you don't follow the statute. --216.186.xxx.xx




Tenant arguing damages (by Vee [OH]) Posted on: May 9, 2019 2:41 PM
Message:

No need to argue, you did explain the way the deposit works - damages are charged against this, if all is well and cleaned up nicely I don't want your money just a ready to rent unit. --76.188.xxx.xx




Tenant arguing damages (by GKARL [PA]) Posted on: May 9, 2019 2:43 PM
Message:

I would not discuss anything with him about the SD. He hasn't moved yet and you can't fully assess damages until he's out, so there's nothing to discuss right now. Give him a move out checklist and cut off further discussion. --172.56.xx.xxx




Tenant arguing damages (by Sara [FL]) Posted on: May 9, 2019 3:58 PM
Message:

Thanks all. No pics were taken but he was provided a move-in checklist to document any damages which he did not complete, also states in my lease that damages are to be reported immediately so they can be repaired. It seems to me since he never reported these damages he is already in violation of the lease --174.218.xxx.xx




Tenant arguing damages (by S i d [MO]) Posted on: May 9, 2019 4:57 PM
Message:

I'm with RB on this one...this tenant has correctly sensed that you allow him to argue with you.

My suggestions:

1) STOP arguing. From now on, you are like a Drill Sergeant. You say what you expect and no further discussion. Some people want to "have the last word." That's fine. Let them. But you continue to enforce your lease.

2) A wise land lord doesn't ever "want" legal trouble, but we always be prepared for it. YOU are not the one causing legal trouble: the tenant is because they are damaging your property and causing other lease violations. Be prepared to "drop the hammer" if they violate and argue. Have your attorney's number/email at the ready if the refuse to comply.

3) No discussion of security deposit beyond, "We always comply with the State law on security deposits. Our accounting department/bookkeeper will be in touch."

I gave up arguing with tenants years ago, and it was one of the best decisions I ever made. If we go back and forth more than 3x on a subject, I've let them draw me into their drama. Now I just send the message to correct the behavior as required and if they whine, argue, wheedle, disagree, fail to comply or threaten, I shut down communications and forward their lease to our attorney. They call tell their story to the judge.

. --173.20.xxx.xxx




Tenant arguing damages (by BRAD 20,000 [IN]) Posted on: May 10, 2019 12:16 AM
Message:

Sara,

You said LL and realtor so I am replying based on an outside person handling this lease. My response hits hard so you know what to fix on your next lease out. This is not a game. You have too much to lose and too much legal liability to allow this to repeat.

I see a major case of wimpy lease-itis combined with "Damaging Poor Management Disease".

Mistakes:

-No pics. What!? Why? Pics are free and don't lie in court! This is LLing 101.

-No inspection signed by the res. What!? Again LLing 101.

-No orientation. At new resident orientation (simply sit down and review the lease and policies) the trampoline and pool policies would have at least been shown to the res with their initials.

-Late a few times. The manager LET the res start calling the shots.

-Does the lease specify no trampolines or pools? and the move out process?

-"In good faith" What the heck does that mean??I believe it's the manager's excuse for not managing.

-Arguing. Pointless and draws the manager into the drama. Some people thrive on creating drama. Your manager found one.

-Stay in control. Give the res a copy of the move out packet from the lease. It states the move out procedure and charges. THAT is your communication.

-The reporting damage rule is good to have but won't carry any weight.

-Tile: can crack later, esp if it's a long crack over multiple tiles. An impact chip or crack is easy to define.

-T mold: is flimsy and a constant maintenance item. Did I understand laminate in the wet areas? Tough to prove ANY of these damage without pics and / or the signed inspection form. This would go no where in MY court.

-Go back and review the application and screening. I suspect it was minimal.

My lease is clear: 31 pages because it covers all the things your manager did not. I sleep well. Every word and inspection form is designed to protect the LL and educate the new res. It stands up and solves disagreements.

Best of luck!

BRAD --73.102.xxx.xxx




Tenant arguing damages (by nhsailmaker [NH]) Posted on: May 10, 2019 7:09 AM
Message:

the second a Tenant starts to talk I remind them that the lease has a specific address where they send lease related items

If they E-mail I simply copy and reply with the text from the state law with nothing else.

If they e-mail back I do it again and again until they get the point

I don't give them my cell phone so no texts ever --24.62.xxx.xxx




Tenant arguing damages (by plenty [MO]) Posted on: May 10, 2019 7:48 AM
Message:

Give up "he broken the 3 tile" just hold him accountable somewhere else. You'll never win that one. He may have broken then in normal everyday living but you sure don't want hom fixing it! Just stop talking about that - either way. Say nothing. When he says "look at those 3 broken tiles, i didn't do it!" Just say "um! Wow" it sounds like you have not been to the property? I suggest going there if you are responsible for this deposit return. There is more you need to look at there. --99.203.xx.xxx




Tenant arguing damages (by plenty [MO]) Posted on: May 10, 2019 7:50 AM
Message:

Oh and if he lived at my rental and put up a pool... i do my paper work like the boy scouts "leave no trace" that's the kind of stuff I'd hit security deposit hard on. --99.203.xx.xxx




Tenant arguing damages (by J [FL]) Posted on: May 10, 2019 8:30 AM
Message:

"I told him to fix the ceramic tile and the t-molding."

I wouldn't have told him that. His "fix" will be ugly or incorrect and then you'll just have another argument with him on your hands.

--72.188.xxx.xxx




Tenant arguing damages (by JKJ [MA]) Posted on: May 10, 2019 8:48 AM
Message:

I wouldnít have had him fix anything, anything he fixes is gonna be done as quickly and cheaply as possible in order to get his SD back. I have always just told tenants that after they move their belongings out and surrender the unit I will do a final inspection, and then return their SD within 30 days. If cleaning or repairs are nessacary, I will include in the remainder of the SD all invoices for work performed. Thatís what I wouldíve done with this tenant, I wouldnít argue. I treat my tenants with respect and demand that in return. If a tenant behaved in the way you described I wouldíve put an end to it immediately, the first time he behaved in that manner. --174.192.xx.xx




Tenant arguing damages (by plenty [MO]) Posted on: May 10, 2019 9:31 AM
Message:

Agree with JK(fl) now is not the day tenant should be worried about security deposit return. That is something he should have been doing all along. You can't help him at this point. --99.203.xx.xxx




Tenant arguing damages (by Salernitana [CA]) Posted on: May 10, 2019 10:57 AM
Message:

Please do keep a very cut and dry attitude with your tenant. I think that you are actually going to need to be the adult in the room to deescalate the situation with this drama-fueled-argumentative tenant. Like everyone has noted, please just stick to the rule of law at this point with your situation going forward to cover yourself. I'm guessing that this guy won't go to court because it sounds like he's cheap and wouldn't hire an attorney and because it sounds like he has young kids to keep him busy. Also, he probably thinks that he could represent himself and win because he's a talker with no hard proof and an unrealistic mind.

You are on the home stretch with the tenant leaving in over two weeks. Please do post what happens if you need support and need to bounce off ideas. You got this.

--73.93.xx.xx




Tenant arguing damages (by Sara [FL]) Posted on: May 10, 2019 11:22 AM
Message:

Thanks all. He is my first tenant and I have learned and agree with you all, cut and dry is most effective. I wrote a short response back stating we are complying w the law and will be in touch after the move out date within the mandated time frame. Hopefully there are no problems. Iíll let the handyman assess the damages and we will go from there. I appreciate all the feedback --73.137.xx.xx




Tenant arguing damages (by Busy [WI]) Posted on: May 10, 2019 12:48 PM
Message:

Oh, first one was my toughest. I refer to my first as Stupid House. As, I was stupid to rent to them. It gets easier. Though, I still expect to make more mistakes, lol! --70.92.xxx.xxx




Tenant arguing damages (by Doogie [KS]) Posted on: May 10, 2019 12:50 PM
Message:

I hate to be the dissenting voice here, but I have been in front of a judge with this exact same scenario. I can only tell you what happened to me, I cannot say what will happen in FL.

I had a tenant that did numerous damages and left the place totally trashed. I ate up their deposit and sued for another $2k on top because it was so bad. I had move out pictures, but this was it. I had no check in sheet and no move in pictures. I kind of got a tongue lashing from the judge for not having either of these items. I told him that they never returned the check in sheet. Judge told me it's my responsibility to get it. The case ended up that I got to charge for cleaning, but I was not awarded any damages. In looking back, this was the right decision. As BRAD stated above, this is LL 101. I didn't follow through and it bit me. It was an expensive degree from the school of hard knox. --72.209.xxx.xxx




Tenant arguing damages (by SAra [FL]) Posted on: May 10, 2019 1:55 PM
Message:

Iím surprised, how is that my fault if the tenant didnít do his homework? I would think itís his responsibility to do the move-in checklist. If he doesnít, heís open for any liability. Anyway I have in email he admits to causing the damages --73.137.xx.xx




Tenant arguing damages (by JKJ [MA]) Posted on: May 10, 2019 4:06 PM
Message:

Sara, the email from him accepting responsibility helps. As far as the move-in-check list being the tenants responsibility, the burden of proof falls upon you, you must prove the condition of the apartment prior to the tenant moving in, so you can prove the tenant is responsible for any damages or if the unit has not been cleaned when the tenant moves out. --174.192.xx.xx




Tenant arguing damages (by Busy [WI]) Posted on: May 10, 2019 4:15 PM
Message:

Btw, I donít go nuts on damages at move out. I tend to fix things as we go along, so tenant has already paid for what they damaged months or years ago, and I Ďallowí a good bit of wear and tear. I figure, itís my job to put sturdy materials in the house, of, if not sturdy, then easy to repair/replace. Example: mirrors by definition, are not sturdy. So I go with cheap/easy to replace. So, if the tenant breaks the full length mirror in the hall, itís only seven bucks at Wally World for a new one (those mirrors have held up surprisingly well though.)

My rents are not the cheapest for my area, in the upper half of what I see out there. I figure by having the rent a bit higher, I can just absorb most dings and dents. That seems to encourage tenants reporting things quickly. They know Iím not going to get bent out of shape over things, and pretty easy on the charges. Iím more interested in they know what caused the damage, they know how to prevent it in the future, and they are putting effort to do that.

So, I tend to be pretty Ďchillí about damages. Maybe itís just that I donít like back and forth drama *grin* My houses are in working class neighborhoods. ďAinít nobody got time for thatĒ~ Sweet Brown --208.54.xx.xxx




Tenant arguing damages (by Busy [WI]) Posted on: May 10, 2019 4:15 PM
Message:

Btw, I donít go nuts on damages at move out. I tend to fix things as we go along, so tenant has already paid for what they damaged months or years ago, and I Ďallowí a good bit of wear and tear. I figure, itís my job to put sturdy materials in the house, of, if not sturdy, then easy to repair/replace. Example: mirrors by definition, are not sturdy. So I go with cheap/easy to replace. So, if the tenant breaks the full length mirror in the hall, itís only seven bucks at Wally World for a new one (those mirrors have held up surprisingly well though.)

My rents are not the cheapest for my area, in the upper half of what I see out there. I figure by having the rent a bit higher, I can just absorb most dings and dents. That seems to encourage tenants reporting things quickly. They know Iím not going to get bent out of shape over things, and pretty easy on the charges. Iím more interested in they know what caused the damage, they know how to prevent it in the future, and they are putting effort to do that.

So, I tend to be pretty Ďchillí about damages. Maybe itís just that I donít like back and forth drama *grin* My houses are in working class neighborhoods. ďAinít nobody got time for thatĒ~ Sweet Brown --208.54.xx.xxx




Tenant arguing damages (by Busy [WI]) Posted on: May 10, 2019 4:16 PM
Message:

Blast! Sorry Ďbout dble-post! --208.54.xx.xxx




Tenant arguing damages (by BRAD 20,000 [IN]) Posted on: May 10, 2019 4:42 PM
Message:

Sara,

I hope I did not beat you up too badly!

First residents and first hired manager can be a HUGE learning experience. My first res was a total disaster - due to MY poor management. She sued me and I lost in court. The judge was even a family friend!

I was extremely embarrassed and lost money. I vowed NEVER AGAIN.

Every time I was hit with a problem or a surprise over our 40 years I wrote something into the lease to protect me.

I watched for gaps in our system, like hoping the res would fill out an inspection form - the most important document in court!!

EVERY rule, fee, form, inspection, disclaimer, lead based paint info, EVERYTHING is in one staple, not to be forgotten or missed.

Then I made a detailed NEW LEASE CHECKLIST so we did not miss a step, such as turning off utilities in our name, or missing a SS#.

FYI: in Indiana, licensed realtors and attys are allowed to manage properties for others. BUT know they only receive 30 minutes of LL training to get their license! LICENSED does not mean QUALIFIED.

Hang in there! Now you know how to protect yourself in the future.

BRAD

--73.102.xxx.xxx




Tenant arguing damages (by BRAD 20,000 [IN]) Posted on: May 10, 2019 4:44 PM
Message:

PS

The National Convention in a few weeks in Cleveland and Jeffrey's Landlord Boot Camp in the Fall would give you a jumpstart into proper management skills, saving you from stress and loss.

BRAD --73.102.xxx.xxx




Tenant arguing damages (by Sara [FL]) Posted on: May 11, 2019 7:04 AM
Message:

No worries Brad.

So in this case where the tenant did not notify me of damages but were found upon inspection (though he has notified me of failing appliances for example), and he disputes my security deposit claim that (1) broken floor tile was caused by just simply walking on it bc he says itís poorly installed and (2) transition molding pieces incurred water damages due to fault washer machine, who will the judge believe if he takes it to court? Do I need a handymanís inspection and pictures to help persuade the judge and will that work? Will the fact that he never reported these problems until conversations start about security deposits be in my favor or not? I could believe him about the t-molding but not about the ceramic tile which is what I am mainly concerned about and definitely plan to replace and claim against the deposit. In my lease it states he is supposed to immediately inform me of damages to the property. --73.137.xx.xx




Tenant arguing damages (by Sara [FL]) Posted on: May 11, 2019 7:06 AM
Message:

I re read my post and the point is in a he said she said battle what tools help you win your security deposit claim if it goes to court? He has admitted to causing the damage and that it was not there when he moved in. Also found out my husband took pics before we moved out, thank goodness! --73.137.xx.xx




Tenant arguing damages (by CGB [MI]) Posted on: May 11, 2019 8:14 AM
Message:

Sara, first, I strongly concur with Brad. My lease is long and although there are many on this board who are supporters of short leases, you are the professional and a judge will give the benefit to the tenant if it is not specifically addressed in your lease. Also, it acts as your shield. No matter what the complaint is, your response is, "So as not to violate fair housing laws, everyone must be treated the same, and I will follow the procedures in the lease." In this situation, unfortunately, I agree with your tenant. If the tile is cracked along the entire length that is because it is not properly supported or the support has shifted. A chip on the other hand is his fault. Either way, do not let him do the repair work himself. You will get poor quality work and if the underlying cause is not addressed, it will happen again. That is if you have or can find matching tile. Personally I would not fight over t molding especially if there has been a history of water leaks from a nearby washing machine. I would give him a move out cleaning list to get as much of his security deposit back as possible because at it seems he is motivated. --67.149.xxx.xx




Tenant arguing damages (by J [FL]) Posted on: May 11, 2019 9:11 AM
Message:

"In this situation, unfortunately, I agree with your tenant. If the tile is cracked along the entire length that is because it is not properly supported or the support has shifted. A chip on the other hand is his fault. Either way, do not let him do the repair work himself. You will get poor quality work and if the underlying cause is not addressed, it will happen again."

True. Sometimes it all has to be removed and redone the right way. I went through this myself.

Personally, in the bigger picture, beyond the deposit issue, I would want to find out exactly what is happening to the floors and if the problem is contained to that one room -- IF the tenant is right about bad installation/settling. Then either replace the tile in the kitchen, or maybe a floating floor solution if the problem is more than just the kitchen area. --72.188.xxx.xxx




Tenant arguing damages (by Nellie [ME]) Posted on: May 11, 2019 11:35 AM
Message:

WE fill out the inspection report and ask the tenant to add to it when we do the walk through at move in. And they sign it then. If there is anything else they should report it as soon as they know. --70.105.xxx.xxx




Tenant arguing damages (by CX [WA]) Posted on: May 11, 2019 2:37 PM
Message:

Sara you asked who will the judge believe? Most likely the judge will believe whoever has the best, most organized proof, following the local laws and regulations.

You have homework and a due date ahead of you.

You already know about some of the damages you need to document, and there WILL be additional others.

Start by printing out your move-in photos showing the previous undamaged conditions of the damaged areas you now know about. Make notes to photograph them again after move-out, under similar lighting conditions, angles, etc. to make easy to compare before & after shots.

The documented before & after photos will be your best proof in court.

Also print out the emails where the tenant admits to causing the damages. Prepare an organized "Exhibit" folder to help present your case in an unemotional businesslike manner.

Once you start working on this "homework" you will start feeling better as you start to see how well prepared you will be if this does go to court.

Does the SD cover the damages? --71.212.xxx.xxx



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