Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Business & FinanceRenting & Real Estate · 3 months ago

Do I win this at small calms court?

My landlord charged $950 for hardwood floor damage to the house that I leased last two years. We think the floor was already damaged but we dont have pictures of the previously damaged floor. Do we have a shot to win this at the small claims? Do we have to prove that the floor was damaged before we moved in or does the landlord have to prove that it was done after we leased the house?

22 Answers

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  • Bort
    Lv 6
    3 months ago

    You probably have little chance of winning if you don't have physical proof that gives absoultely no doubt the damage was there before you moved in. The landlord may or may not also have that kind of proof that is required and in small claims cases when it's one persons word against another sometimes the case is dismissed, other times the judgement is for the plantiff.

    It's not going to be like Judge Judy on TV where both parties get to argue back and forth and are given all the time they want to speak etc. If it gets to the court date the proceeding is going to be very cut and dry. The whole thing in front of the judge might take 3 minutes until he/she makes a decision.

    This could really go several ways. And it depends what the damage is and what it truly cost the landlord to repair it. $950 to repair a wood floor doesn't sound right to me. You left some information out that is important to know.

    How big was the floor?

    Was it the entire floor that was damaged or just an area of it?

    Was the entire floor repaired or just the damaged section?

    What exactly was the damage?

    What was done to repair the floor?

    Who did the repairs? A contractor or did the landlord do it them self?

    The judge isn't going to be interested in hearing either side's story they will have mutliple cases to get through. They want proof; photos, receipts, witness statements.

    What I suggest is, this sucks especially if you're not at fault but having a small claims against you can show up on a credit report or background check, is work something out with the landlord and pay him payments toward it. If he/she accepts you being willing to do that and avoid going to court (which is likely - taking it to court is costly) then try to negotiate the price. If they want $950 offer a total of $700 in $50 to $100 payments.

    If they accept a payment plan or a lower payment get a receipt, that is settling it out of court. Then they can't take you to court.

    It's accepting fault for something you may not be at fault for but if if this does go to court and you lose it's going to be in the way of you getting in to other homes later. Keeping it out of court avoids all of that headache for you even if you're not at fault and it costs you money. If you make this landlord happy you possibly have a good reference for future rentals and other things.

  • 3 months ago

    If 'we think' is your defence, it's hard to see how you're going to win this.

  • D J
    Lv 7
    3 months ago

    Since it sounds like you did not take pictures before & after, and did not do a walk through, you should force your former landlord to prove his case in court.

  • Judy
    Lv 7
    3 months ago

    You'd have to prove that it was already damaged

    • Nuff Sed
      Lv 7
      2 months agoReport

      That might be true, but only after the landlord proves that it wasn't.

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  • Anonymous
    3 months ago

    You won't win. You have to prove it. Didn't you sign something when you first rented that the condition of the place was acceptable? If you didn't, you should have. Too late now, you damaged it & you have to pay. I bet the landlords have proof of what it looked like.

    • Nuff Sed
      Lv 7
      2 months agoReport

      Unless the plaintiff landlord has the necessary proof of damage by this tenant, he cannot possibly win. However, if the tenant has his own proof (photos, witnesses), he may counter the landlords' evidence with his own.

  • Pearl
    Lv 7
    3 months ago

    only time will tell, you'll just have to wait and see

  • 3 months ago

    The landlord only has to show that the floor was damaged and estimates for repair or invoice for repair. If that can be shown, then you will have to prove the floor was in that condition when you moved in two years ago.

  • Anonymous
    3 months ago

    Slim chance without any proof.

    • Nuff Sed
      Lv 7
      2 months agoReport

      The landlord (as plaintiff) always has the burden of proof.

  • 3 months ago

    How bad is it. You’re allowed some wear and tear. If it’s just some normal scratches then that’s considered wear and wear. If you took an axe and tried to get firewood out of it then you have to pay.

  • 3 months ago

    yes................................

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