We terminated our rental agreement two months early and provided the home owner 30 days notice. We made the homeowner aware of our daughters medical condition upon signing our initial lease. We discovered black mold in her bedroom and asked that it be repaired/removed he failed to do comply so we cited failure to repair and provided 30 days notice. We had the carpets professionally cleaned and the yard landscaped. The homeowner and his wife stated that the house was fine and appreciated that we had the carpet cleaned and yard landscaped. Now they are refusing return our security deposit and stated that we owed them for landscaping (350 dollars) carpet cleaning (225 dollar) loss of rent since they could not rent the house out for one month while they did work to the roof (replaced shingles, etc) and advertisment for the property. What are my options?
1 Answer from Attorneys
I've owned a rental home in the past and have experienced both good renters and bad renters. I can really appreciate people that are nice and responsible such as you folks. Good for you. I'm sorry that being so considerate to your landlord backfired. That's really a shame.
Your options? Unfortunately, you don't have a lot of them. You can try talking with him. You know him, I don't. So only you know what sort of approach would be best. I can't advise you on that. Often we need to tailor our communications to a particular personality.
If talking with him doesn't work, you can try sending a letter and threaten to sue him. If you know a lawyer that would put such a letter on his/her letterhead, that often gets people's attention.
If the above doesn't work, then you can go to the Magistrates Court in the county where the home is. They will guide you on the process. They are not allowed to give you legal advise however.
I must strongly recommend that you consult with an attorney before doing any of this. I would also suggest taking a very careful look at the lease agreement, if there was one. Be absolutely sure that you understand everything in the lease that could apply to the deposit, terminating the lease, etc.
I wish you well.
Robert J. Johnston, Attorney
Surfside Beach, SC
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