Seems like you know what the issues to discuss at trial to be, that you need to file in small claims, and that there's a chance that depending on whose side of the facts the court believes, you might not win. I don't see any questions here. So it looks like you're ready for small claims trial.
If you decided to go into Circuit Court instead (which you can do because your claim is over $750) the prevailing party will be awarded attorney fees. It might be worth consulting with an attorney to get an opinion as to whether the facts you can present make it worthwhile to hire an attorney to litigate or negotiate your claims.
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Unfortunately, you're likely to have a somewhat difficult time in bringing a claim successfully. If you're able to prove that the damages that were recouped against your deposit were merely wear and tear, you're able to recover double what was wrongfully withheld. However, what is and what isn't "wear and tear" is never easy to identify.
To complicate matters further, these issues can support an award of attorneys fees to the prevailing party, so if you sued in small claims court the other side is likely to simply retain and attorney and get the case moved to state circuit (regular) court. Thus, you'd then be faced with getting your own attorney and potentially having to pay their attorney if you ultimately lost, as well.
That's not to discourage you to say that you don't have a claim, of course, but you should consult with a local tenants' attorney in your area to evaluate your case and advise you as to the potential costs and benefits of proceeding.
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