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Can a landlord collect damages?

Bay City, MI |

Can a landlord keep part of a security deposit for carpets to be replaced if they can not provide before you moved in photos of the carpet? I feel if that cant provide those then they cant prove that I damaged the carpets in our civil case that I filed against them for my deposit back because when I moved in the carpets were matted and had blood on them I have photos of that and it had spots in it. They are now saying they need to replace the carpet I lived there for 3 years. But I was told to ask them in court in the beginning if I can look at their before photos and if they can not proved them then they don't have a claim is that true?

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Attorney answers 2

Posted

It would depend on many different factors. The most important of which would be the Statement of Condition you most likely signed when first renting the apartment. If you did not sign a Statement of Condition and you have dated pictures of the stains your landlord most likely does not have a case to keep your security deposit.

What you are referring to when mentioning the showing of all of the landlord’s evidence is called “discovery,” this is one of the first steps of a lawsuit. After discovery you can ask the court for a directed verdict due to a lack of evidence.

The information provided in this answer is offered for informational purposes only. It is not offered as legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship

Asker

Posted

So how would I ask the judge to see there evidence against me when we are in court I don't want to do anything wrong, and unprofessional going in there I've been in court of any even small claims like this so I'm very nervous.

Asker

Posted

their*

Shaun A. Hannafin

Shaun A. Hannafin

Posted

If you are in small claims court there will be no discovery. Discovery only occurs in regular District Court. Your landlord will produce any evidence he has to the judge or magistrate the day of in court. Do not be nervous for court. In small claims court no one is allowed to have an attorney and those judges have seen all sorts of behavior. My best advise would be to dress well, be respectful, and do not interrupt. Respect is key. Good luck!

Posted

Photos are not required, but are a good piece of evidence. for landlord or tenants. Most landlords will not have photos of a home that does not have condition issues, but rely on the Tenant to complete a checklist upon move-in noting the condition. Please see the items you noted on the Inventory Checklist that you are required to complete and return to the Landlord within 7 days of move in. The landlord should have provided two copies, or carbon/NCR forms to complete and have you return. The idea being you keep one, and turn one in. See from their files what the inventory checklist states you found correct, or incorrect with the apartment upon move in.

Please mark this answer as "Best" or "Helpful" if it is to you. This answer does not create an attorney/client relationship and you cannot presume that I am your lawyer or that my advice can be relied upon in any way other than for information only. You will not become my client unless and until you sign and return a retainer agreement and it is signed by me as accepted.

Asker

Posted

we had to turn it in and she didn't give us a copy back but I have photos at my sons birthday party just 2 weeks after we moved in were you can see the carpets are matted and there are a some discolored spots that later attracted the dirt so it was clearly not new carpet.

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