A Landlord’s Preparation For Court

By E-Renter Tenant Screening
Posted on November 30, 2006 under Landlord Tenant Lawsuits | icon: commentBe the First to Comment

Often, when landlords return security deposits, they end up being sued without adequate cause, by tenants claiming their security deposit amount has not been returned, or else too little of it has been refunded. This, despite the fact, landlords give itemised lists of much-needed repairs. And, to top it all, they have the audacity to claim not only payment of the security deposit in the small claims court, but payment for grief and time, including gas and miles. Well, you as a landlord, tell me, does the tenant deserve all that? Frankly, no, only in a far stretch of imagination! One can only recommend you prepare well before going to the small claims court. Remember, it is not what you say in court, but what you bring with you that will count, ultimately. Ensure you have pictures of the damage, receipts for repair work carried out, as well as, estimates for materials costs.

All in all, all this means, you are pretty well prepared, however, in court you will need to prove to the judge, the damages, you have had repaired, were not there, at the time the suing tenant moved in. You will have to show the judge with evidence that a considerable amount has had to be spent on necessary repairs, repairs that are not a part of normal wear and tear, when the tenant vacated your rental property. As well, following state procedure, you provided him / her with itemised deductions, including refunding the balance of the deposit. Do bring receipts, photographs, and helpful witnesses, if any to the court with you. Witnesses do not necessarily have to appear in person, a signed declaration on their part will probably be sufficient.

Impress the judge of the reasonableness of your nature; be calm, factual, and as succinct as possible, at the time of making your presentation. It is highly unlikely, transportation costs will be awarded to the tenant, in the eventuality he / she wins. Rest easy, play it cool and calm and you may find the ruling in your favour!

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