Legal Question in Landlord & Tenant Law in Ohio

Our tenants just moved out and we found during inspection that the dishwasher was broken. We replaced the latch kit but it still doesn't work. We were never told about the dishwasher and have no idea how long it has been broken. We now will need to purchase a new one. Can we deduct this from their security deposit?

Asked on 9/19/13, 11:07 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Eric Willison Law Office of Eric E. Willison

In Ohio there are two considerations to take into account here. First you need to be able to show that the dishwasher was damaged beyond normal wear and tear by the tenants. It is possible that the dishwasher part just gave out during normal use. If that is the case then the damage is not chargeable to the tenants. This may be because the dishwasher was old.

This brings us to the second issue. If the tenants did damage the dishwasher beyond ordinary wear and tear, If the dishwasher was old You will have to prorate the cost of the new one. For simplicity let's say a new dishwasher costs $100 and it has a lifespan expected of 10 years. if the previously damged dishwasher was 4 years old when the tenants moved in and they lived there for one year, then you can only charge $50 against the deposit for the purchase of the new dishwasher even if the tenants damaged the old one beyond normal wear and tear.

The reality of the matter is that there are some traps for you here. If you withhold from the deposit in the court finds any portion that you withheld was wrongfully withheld Then the tenant could be awarded double damage is an attorney's fees pursuant to RC 5321.16.

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Answered on 9/20/13, 5:28 am

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