Suing landlord for security deposit, can he sue for more?

Landlord failed to contact us after we moved out. He would not answer our calls and emails for many months. When he finally did, he refused to give us back any of our deposit, saying our dog (we paid a pet deposit too) made the carpet too dirty and it needed to be cleaned or replaced. He already had a new tenant living there. The carpet has not been replaced yet. So I am suing for my security deposit.

But I just got a letter from the landlord threatening to sue for travel expenses (he is in another state right now), lost wages, the carpet, and other items totaling $6000. Can he do this? He is saying he will say we tampered with the plumbing (we didn't, his previous upgrades before we lived there caused a leak). What can we do to fight against him making up evidence? He seems very dishonest.

7 Answers

  • 8 years ago
    Best Answer

    1. keep records of everything. Email, mails, tweets ... record phone calls if legal (look up your state... if you are in different states the law from BOTH states matter... if even one says it is illegal do not record. (I think the rule to look up is call one party notification)

    2. he cannot sue you for travel expenses or lost wages if he has to come to court.

    3. if he wants to sue he will have to prove that he had expenses relating to the apartment (a receipt for materials dated BEFORE he moved the new tenant in.

    4. he cannot charge you for a carpet he has not replaced BEFORE a new tenant moves in.

    Basically the man is bluffing you.... intimidating you to back away from suing him.

  • 8 years ago

    The longer you lived there, the more strong your case. Even without a dog, carpet lasts about 7 years tops. So he might have cause on the carpet assuming it was cleaned (prove with a receipt) or replaced (prover that too).

    He can sue for anything he wants, but collecting lost wages and travel costs are hard unless you lawsuit is totally without merit.

    Check the county court records online if you can and see if other tenants have sued him.

  • ?
    Lv 6
    8 years ago

    The landlord is required by law to give you an itemized list of any deductions from your security deposit, and return the balance to you. You can sue him for triple what he owes you because he did not return your balance in a timely manner (check your state laws on the time). Hopefully you took pictures before and after you moved in and out to prove you didn't leave the place looking like a pig sty.

    He'll need to prove what needed to be done to the place....carpet cleaning is a standard deduction from security deposits. But since new tenants have moved in, it obviously hasn't been replaced so he cannot deduct for that.

    He can try to sue for his travel and lost wages but it won't fly in court....those are separate issues not related to your case.

    Always take pictures when moving in and out.

  • 8 years ago

    He's either misinformed or trying to intimidate you because he cannot successfully sue you for travel expenses, lost wages, and other items that you never agreed to pay.

    Since you're dealing with a dishonest person, ignore his threats and continue your suit. Small-time landlords who don't really pay attention to rental laws often try to rip off tenants' security deposits. The fact that he has not yet replaced the carpet will look very bad for him in court.

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  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    He's bluffing and trying to frighten you.You know in your own mind what condition the house was left in and if you feel hard done by then you must sue.In Britain you can do that yourself through the small claims court and you don't need a solicitor and it doesn't cost much.He's trying to steal your deposit because he thinks that you won't go to court.Normally a solicitor's letter would be enough to get him to return the money, but with the current state of the property market he is probably in a worse financial situation than you

  • 8 years ago

    He is just trying trying to intimidate you. He can not sue for lost wages or travel expenses. Even if you lose, you will only lose the deposit. Any judge will see that he only brought his claim after you made yours. Make sure you file as soon as you can.

  • Jay
    Lv 7
    8 years ago

    Unless you have a mutually signed list of things broken/dirty when you moved and and another on your way out, this is going to be tough.

    Given that the carpet has not yet been replaced, he has evidence of what it looks like. He'll need to convince the judge that you were the one responsible, though.

    If you lose, he may get some of what he's asked, but I don't think all of it. Travel expenses, for example, will likely be denied.

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