We are having money from our security deposit withheld for an exterior door that has rotted because the front panels were loose and water from tropical and thunderstorms leaked between the panels of wood causing the door to rot. When we noticed the panels were loose, we placed tape over them to stop more water from leaking behind the panels. Are we legally responsible for replacing the door?
From your facts I would say you are not liable for the damage - unfortunately to dispute it you'll have to file suit against the landlord and have the judge consider the case. That could end up being three trips to the courthouse - first to file the suit, second for the 'return day' to set the case for the contested court docket, and the third for the trial. Check for how it's handled locally. And all that time is not compensated, so if you will lose income because of it, even winning may not be worth the hassle.
One question is did you report the problem to the landlord so they could repair it while you were still living there? It may not be important but it is a question that might come up.
Answers provided are general in nature and usually based on Virginia law. If I answer something posted from another state I'm probably out on a limb. Reliance on any answer...
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