When you rent a property, you are responsible for taking care of it and returning it to your landlord in the same condition that it was in when you moved in – minus normal wear and tear.
No one wants to be in a position where their landlord is claiming false damages. Unfortunately, it’s a situation that happens more often than you might think. If your landlord is attempting to charge you for damages that you didn’t cause, there are steps you can take to protect yourself. Here are five of them.
- Get everything in writing
The first step is to get everything in writing. This includes your lease agreement, any correspondence with your landlord, and photographs of the condition of the property when you moved in. Having this documentation will be helpful if you need to go to court.
- Talk to your landlord
If your landlord is claiming false damages, the first thing you should do is try to talk to them. It’s possible that there was just a misunderstanding and you can resolve the issue without going to court.
- Get a second opinion
If you’re still not able to reach an agreement with your landlord, you can get a second opinion from a qualified tradesperson. This could be someone who specializes in painting, carpentry, or whatever the alleged damage is. They will be able to assess whether the damage is actually as bad as your landlord is claiming.
- Go to small claims court
If you’re still not able to resolve the issue, you can take your landlord to small claims court. This is a less expensive and less formal option than going to Superior Court.
- Hire a paralegal professional
If the damages are significant or the case is complex, you may want to hire a paralgeal professional. They can help you navigate the legal system and represent you in court.
These are some steps you can take if your landlord is claiming false damages. Remember, it’s important to get everything in writing and try to resolve the issue before going to court.