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Can landlord hold part of deposit for damages we did not do?

Florence, KY |

We moved out of the house on a Sunday, Sept 22nd , came back to clean on a Thursday, Sept 26th. That Friday the 27th when we came back to leave the key there was a for sale sign in the yard. The homeowner came in town and stayed the night in the house beginning late friday the 27th and the property management company did not do the move out inspection till Monday the 30th. Sometime between all this someone tried to get into the front door, looks as if someone tried to pry the door open and in doing so, damaged the door. The landlord is charging me for damages to the door. Are we responsible for these damages, the door was fine when we moved out. We did not damage the door and don't know who did, or what day it happened. I would like to take the owner to small claims. will I succeed?

Attorney Answers 2


  1. If you returned possession to the landlord before the damage occurred you should not be on the hook for the repair costs. Whether you will win in court depends upon how strong the evidence is and who the judge believes. It would seem to be an appropriate insurance claim for the owner and to the extent he does file an insurance claim he should not also be able to recover from you. Good luck.

    Nothing contained herein should be considered as legal advice for any specific situation and nothing herein is intended to create a lawyer-client relationship. Every case is very "fact-specific" and persons wishing legal advice on a specific matter should contact me or another attorney for an appointment to review their particular circumstances and to create a lawyer-client relationship. Gregory L. Abbott, Attorney at Law, 6635 North Baltimore, Suite 254, Portland, Oregon 97203. Tel: 503-283-4568; Fax: 503-283-4586; Email: gregabbott@comcast.net. Specializing in Consumer and Small Business Law.


  2. You should hire an attorney to address this issue. You will not be liable for damages if you were not in possession of the property. The facts and evidence you have about the condition of the property when you gave possession back to the management company will determine whether you are liable.

    You should contact an attorney to determine how you should proceed because there are multiple parties involved. For example, if you do not pay the property management company and just sue the owner, you will likely not succeed if they find that you were not in possession of the property because the owner damaged his own property, not yours.

    The content of legal guide has been prepared for informational purposes only and is not legal advice or legal opinion and should not be relied upon for individual situations. If you find yourself in need of legal advice for your individual situation, you should consult and retain an attorney.

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