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Ex Landlord Is Bullying Me For Damages to Remodel his Home

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Ex Landlord Is Bullying Me For Damages to Remodel his Home

Postby mommyx6 » Thu May 11, 2017 8:23 pm

I moved out of my home back in Feb and my ex-landlord is trying to bully me for damages to remodel his home in excess of $25,000. He is not charging me for normal wear and tear. He is charging me to replace flipped upside down light switches that were working fine, co2 detectors, burnt out light bulbs, broken garbage disposal, $7800 to repaint, repair and replace his deck which we've never used, and a bunch of other items as well as brand new carpeting. The carpet was needing to be replaced and we did damage it but it was over 10 yeas old. I was charged to haul away items and I was not allowed to clean out the place before moving so I was charged $3,000 to clean the place when it was empty. I repeatedly asked to be able to clean and was denied. Landlord is threatening to sue unless we settle and is bullying me. I have a lawyer who agrees this is extortion and I furious that landlord can get away with this. What can I do here
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Re: Ex Landlord Is Bullying Me For Damages to Remodel his Ho

Postby TenantNet » Fri May 12, 2017 12:44 am

What is a "flipped upside down light switch?"

A LL can seek compensation for actual damages beyond normal wear and tear. Wear and tear is what you pay rent for. Damages do not include items like repainting, carpet replacement and the like. Damages are when something breaks when it is not used as intended. For example, broken glass window (broken from the inside).

The items you indicate sound like normal wear and tear.

That's why tenants should take copious photos when they move in - and when they move out, as well as conduct a walk-through with the LL to document any real damages or changes.

Absent that, the LL should document the real damages with photos and invoices for replacement costs (and not for work done by employees).

I would not pay him no matter what and let him sue. Most judge would see what's really going on.

Sounds like bluster to me. He's trying to intimidate you. You can also make a complaint with the NYS Attorney General's office if the LL hasn't returned your security deposit.

Has this happened to other previous tenants? Developing a pattern of conduct by the LL could bolster your case.
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Re: Ex Landlord Is Bullying Me For Damages to Remodel his Ho

Postby mommyx6 » Fri May 12, 2017 3:23 pm

thanks. this is actually in Md. And the flipped light switch thing is basically the light switch turned on backwards and he wanted it reversed to work properly. I was charged for these items. Compelely ridiculous! This guy is just simply bullying me and thinks he has a case but how do we find out if he has done this to prior tenants before?
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Re: Ex Landlord Is Bullying Me For Damages to Remodel his Ho

Postby TenantNet » Fri May 12, 2017 6:36 pm

You can find out by asking your former neighbors, or look for court cases started by the LL in your jurisdiction. Some places list all cases online. If not, then you have to go to the courthouse. But I wouldn't spend too much time on that.

Did he give you a list of all damages that make up the dollar amount he's seeking from you? Some things are normal wear and tear. Carpets are intended to be walked on. That's normal wear and tear. Walls get dirty and need repainting. That is not damages.

I have a feeling that in the end, he will owe you money. DO NOT pay him anything. Watch for if the LL makes any complaints to your credit report, and then fight that. There are web sites that will tell you how to do that.
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Re: Ex Landlord Is Bullying Me For Damages to Remodel his Ho

Postby mommyx6 » Fri May 12, 2017 8:46 pm

well he never did a walk through with me. He has a property manager. I've never me the actual landlord. When I moved out I received a letter from his lawyer stating why I wasn't receiving my security deposit back and a demand for $25,000 additional dollars worth of damages. My father was a co-signer on the lease as well. He owns this one house. There are no other properties we are aware of. His lawyer and my lawyer have tried to negotiate and he just seems like a jerk who wants money or wants to sue me. Yes he did give me a list of damages as well as pictures but the pictures do not show the damages in detail. He thinks he has the upper hand here and he does not. Problem is going to court is costly and I do not have the money to do so
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Re: Ex Landlord Is Bullying Me For Damages to Remodel his Ho

Postby TenantNet » Sat May 13, 2017 1:30 am

That's a shakedown and intimidation. Do not pay. Seriously, do not be intimidated.

If I were in your situation, I would tell my lawyer to ignore him, or just send a letter a) denying you caused the claimed damages, and b) they you're not going to pay one cent. He should also send you invoices on what it cost for repairs.

But as you said above, the items you mentioned fall into the wear and tear category. They are part of rent.

Your lawyer ought to file complaints against the other attorney. Did the LLs attorney comply with the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)? See https://goo.gl/qUNKlh

That's a federal case so it applies in any state. But the link is an old page, so research it's current applicability in your location. Your attorney should know how to do that.

And as I said, you will need to watch your credit report and fight any attempt by the LL to damage your credit.
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Re: Ex Landlord Is Bullying Me For Damages to Remodel his Ho

Postby mommyx6 » Sat May 13, 2017 8:47 pm

That's a shakedown and intimidation. Do not pay. Seriously, do not be intimidated. Thanks I'm not intimiated at all and I'm fighting.

If I were in your situation, I would tell my lawyer to ignore him, or just send a letter a) denying you caused the claimed damages, and b) they you're not going to pay one cent. He should also send you invoices on what it cost for repairs. I have retained a lawyer as stated before and he has said I haven't caused 90% of these damages but he doesn't care.

But as you said above, the items you mentioned fall into the wear and tear category. They are part of rent.

Your lawyer ought to file complaints against the other attorney. Did the LLs attorney comply with the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)? See https://goo.gl/qUNKlh ok what complaint against the other attorney? What for? He's simply doing his job here as ordered by his client, my ex-ll. And also what is the fair debt collection practices act? What does this do? thanks.

That's a federal case so it applies in any state. But the link is an old page, so research it's current applicability in your location. Your attorney should know how to do that.

And as I said, you will need to watch your credit report and fight any attempt by the LL to damage your credit
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Re: Ex Landlord Is Bullying Me For Damages to Remodel his Ho

Postby TenantNet » Sat May 13, 2017 8:59 pm

Are you just repeating my post verbatim? Learn to quote properly, please. Separate my previous message from your reply. Otherwise, there's no way to see what you wrote, if anything. Did you just copy my post?

Seriously, that's etiquette you need to follow. See the Forum Rules, No. 20 on proper quoting. Otherwise, I'll delete your post.
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Re: Ex Landlord Is Bullying Me For Damages to Remodel his Ho

Postby mommyx6 » Sun May 14, 2017 9:21 pm

sorry I didn't mean to honestly. I was trying to reply to you in my answers. I don't understand about the fair debt act but I don't see how would would've violated that? And his lawyer doesn't care much about credit at this point. he just seems ready to take me to court immediately at this point. If I ignore him he will file, get a judgement and then they will garnish my bank account and I don't want that. my dad also signed as co signer and his credit will be ruined as well. that's why we have to fight this. otherwise I wouldn't care honestly. I am not giving into this guy's bullying and intimidation however and I do not like how he's treating me at all. I think he has nerve just handing me a bill. He did pay these charges and show receipts and invoices and checks for doing this work but that was his choice to do it, not mine
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Re: Ex Landlord Is Bullying Me For Damages to Remodel his Ho

Postby TenantNet » Sun May 14, 2017 9:48 pm

On the FDCPA, read the link I included, then Google it. Remembeer, it's a federal law.

Your lawyer should know about this. If he doesn't, I'd find a better lawyer.

Anytime a lawyer for a debt collector (your LL) comes after you for money, they must include a notice. That would be a violation by the LL lawyer (with a possible fine), not the LL. But it can gum things up for the LL.

You don't know that he will file. Could be just a threat. That's why you might consider threatening him back, or starting to fight back. Might be it's an idle threat to see if you're just another stupid tenant who will pay up without a fight. Many do.

I would consider putting your bank account and assets out of state. Makes it harder for the LL (although not impossible).

Are you shocked a landlord is acting this way?

I would also start looking into MD law as to what is permissible re damages and the LLs obligation to return security money. You could file in small claims court for your deposit (if you have one in your jurisdiction), although if the money the LL wants in high enough, that might be beyond the limit of your small claims court (in NYC the limit is $5,000), meaning the LL would have to file in a full court.

You should also seek out MD tenant groups. I just Googled "maryland tenant security deposit law" and found https://goo.gl/LFChSa

But there was a long list of Google results. I'd look at those as well.

They can probably give you better information on MD law than we can.

Also see http://www.marylandattorneygeneral.gov/ ... x#deposits

and look at the Consumer Protection Division. They probably have people who know about these LL scams.
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Re: Ex Landlord Is Bullying Me For Damages to Remodel his Ho

Postby mommyx6 » Mon May 15, 2017 10:44 pm

Thanks but I do not believe this is a scam. This guy is a dr. a radiologist and I do believe he is seeking to sue me. I don't believe he's likely bluffing. He showed me cancelled checks and invoices for doing all the work. I cannot just move my money to another state. it isn't that easy. I must admit I did violate the leasae by having pets and he found out but I got rid of them immediately. I believe he's using this as leverage to try and get me to pay these damages and that's part of the reason he's doin this and believes he has a case and he's trying to bully me. His lawyer did send a demand for payment initially along with the proof I had violated the lease and the initial invoices for $25,000 demanding payment within 30 days and told me I would not be receiving my security deposit back. This was all done within 30 days of my leaving. Therefore how would I have grounds to sue him for my deposit back? this guy isn't just blowing smoke here? I don't believe he's likwly going away unfortunately.
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Re: Ex Landlord Is Bullying Me For Damages to Remodel his Ho

Postby TenantNet » Tue May 16, 2017 2:52 am

Believe me, this is a scam and shakedown. I don't care if the guy is a doctor. He's a LL pulling a scam. After all, we have Trump as President. Scammers aren't limited to poor people. Open your eyes.

He might have every intent to sue you, but that doesn't mean his claims aren't just as ridiculous.

Doesn't matter if he did the work. What matters is a) if you did any damage beyond wear and tear, and b) if the item/work qualifies.

For example, if you punched a hole in the wall, that's damages. If the wall needed repainting just because it hasn't been done for 20 years, that's not damages and is normal wear and tear.

Having a pet might not be illegal. Check the local law. There are many possible lease provisions that are unenforceable. Just because they are in the lease, and just because you might have technically violated that provision, does not create damages.

For something like that, the only remedy to the LL might have been for him to sue you while you were in occupancy. He can't do it now that you are no longer in occupancy. He can complain about it. but that is not grounds for seeking damages.

You would have grounds to get your deposit back simply because they have not given it to you. Assuming you disagree with all his claims, including many of the items are simply not damages, then he would owe you your deposit back.

Look, you have a lawyer and hopefully he/she is a good lawyer. What lawyers do is write the other side (the LL's lawyer) and tell them to back off. Has your lawyer done that? Stop wringing your hands and start fighting back.
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Re: Ex Landlord Is Bullying Me For Damages to Remodel his Ho

Postby mommyx6 » Tue May 16, 2017 8:23 pm

thank you. I'm hoping my lawyer is a good lawyer. he's honestly the only lawyer who would return my call. I called 5 lawyers and none returned my call except this guy. every other lawyer I spoke with seemed for the landlord. and i'm certainly not wringing my hands. my concern here is for my father however. he helped me by cosigning for me and I will not put his name and go credit at risk and I don't want him to suffer. that's why I cannot just walk away from this and do nothing or believe me I would. And yes I fully believe he's pulling a scam trying to get me to remodel his home at my expense. His fees and invoices are ridiculous but if a judge rules in his favor then what am I to do? My lawyer told me I'm vulnerable because he said I would be on the hook for some things such as paying for some paint, some carpeting, something for the broken microwave handle(he paid $508 for a new microwave, we offered him $100 for a new handle it was 15 years old.) Something for cleaning, not $3,000 but likely $300 or something, unsure what other fees?
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Re: Ex Landlord Is Bullying Me For Damages to Remodel his Ho

Postby TenantNet » Tue May 16, 2017 8:51 pm

Go to your local Legal Aid or Legal Services, ask them for a list of pro-tenant lawyers. If your income is sufficiently low, they might take the case. But that's usually if you're facing eviction, which you are not.

Ask the lawyer how many tenants has he represented, and how many landlords. But keep a watch on him and make sure he send you copies of any letters or documents he receives or sends out. That is important.

For cosigning, my understanding is that might impact someone on the first lease, but not on any renewals. Of course every situation is different and depends on if the renewals also required a co-signer.
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Re: Ex Landlord Is Bullying Me For Damages to Remodel his Ho

Postby mommyx6 » Wed May 17, 2017 5:18 pm

wow thank you. I had no idea or even thought to ask that we should be asking to see any letters he is sending out. you are right on your game. Thanks. And this was the first lease and only lease signed, not any renewal that my dad cosigned for me. So far we have not heard anything back from ex-ll. I'm thinking he may have gone ahead and filed in court which ticks me off and I'm extremely angry about. However still not giving into his demands.
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