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Can my former landlord deduct for damage I did not do?

Hopatcong, NJ |

I recently vacated rental property and the landlord deducted having the tub reglazed from my security. I spoke to the man that did it and he said that it had to have been from a strong chemical such as turpintine or painter thinner. My husband and I have never even owned such chemical let alone dump it down the drain. After we moved in, our landlord had town handyman painting our bedroom and staining a window in our master bedroom, which is what we suspect. Can they hold us responsible? How can I request this be refunded?

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Attorney answers 2


If you did not cause the damage you are not responsible , if the landord's agent (the handyman) did the damage. The problem you may have is proving it. Talk with your LL First. He may be willing to reach an agreement with you. If not you will have to sue. NJ provides for double damages if you are successful.


I agree with Mr. Schutz. You do not have to pay for damage you did not cause. If you take the route of going to court, you will have the classic "he-said / she-said" situation with two different versions of the facts. In NJ, the landlord has the burden of proof of establishing that you caused the damage.

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