Deadbeat Partial Payments

ask-the-attorneyThe Landlord Protection Agency®presents John Reno, Esq.,a highly experienced Landlord – Tenant attorney based on Long Island, NY.

Q:  Dear Mr. Reno:

My father passed away and left a rental house to my brother and I . The person living in the house has been there around 15 years. On the agreement that was signed by my parents and the attendant was for a one year lease and that the rent would be 100.00 a week. This home is in Tuscaloosa , Alabama.

1. The attendant is thousands of dollars behind in his rent. Over the years my parent let him slide. The attendant always had some problem to prevent him from paying, my question is can we have him evicted for not paying rent if there was never a renewal of the lease or anything that we can find that state he can live there regardless?

2.. We have received around 400.00 for the last 6 months. Question is : he was told that if he didn’t pay is rent for the month of June we were going to evict him. We received a check for 100.00 at end of June and just received a check for 350.00. Can we cash these.? Been told if we did take even partial payment that it would mass up getting out of the house. Is this true or can we cash the checks.?

Thank you or your help

Brittney, Tuscaloosa , Alabama

A: 1. Take the $. 2. Serve Notice of Default; let him know what you think he owes. 3. Start eviction for non-payment. Good luck.

Legal Disclaimer
The Landlord Protection Agency’s “Ask the Attorney” column is for informational purposes only. The questions answered by Mr. Reno on this site do not constitute an attorney – client relationship and are not to be considered legal advice. Not all questions will be answered and some may appear in the LPA Q&A Forum.
The Landlord Protection Agency recommends that you seek legal advice before using any of the material offered on this web site, and makes no guarantee on the effectiveness, compliance with local laws or success of any of the material offered on this web site. The Landlord Protection Agency is not engaged in rendering legal advice.

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Ask The Attorney: Tenant Threatening to Sue

ask-the-attorneyThe Landlord Protection Agency®presents John Reno, Esq.,a highly experienced Landlord – Tenant attorney based on Long Island, NY.

Q:  Dear Mr. Reno:

I had a tenant who vacated and did not clean the home and there was close to $1,400.00 in damages which he refused to pay. I had 21 days to return his security deposit and I completely forgot because I was so overwhelm with the work that had to be done to the home. He sent me an email reminding me that I was late. I apologized to him and told him I would it send right out. He preferred to pick it up. His $3500.00 security deposit was minus the cleaning and the damages. The next day he spoke with a Lawyer and he threatened me with legal action and that he was entitle to a full refund of his security deposit. He took no ownership for his actions. I did return the remaining deposit because I had no time to go to court.

He rented the place for 3 years and he did not qualified to rent the home per our Property Management Company. I gave him a chance. I also told him before all this that if was to leave before the end of the lease I would only charge him for the days he will be there.
I would like to have my portion returned to me. Can you help me.

Regards,
Albert C., Clayton ,CA

A: You have won a no expense paid trip to small claims court to sue for your $1400 plus whatever. Good luck.

Legal Disclaimer
The Landlord Protection Agency’s “Ask the Attorney” column is for informational purposes only. The questions answered by Mr. Reno on this site do not constitute an attorney – client relationship and are not to be considered legal advice. Not all questions will be answered and some may appear in the LPA Q&A Forum.
The Landlord Protection Agency recommends that you seek legal advice before using any of the material offered on this web site, and makes no guarantee on the effectiveness, compliance with local laws or success of any of the material offered on this web site. The Landlord Protection Agency is not engaged in rendering legal advice.

What’s Considered ‘Normal Wear and Tear’ in a Rental?

1The one thought on every renter’s mind on move-out day (aside from “How the heck am I going to get this sofa through the front door?”) has to do with the security deposit. Will you ever see that money again?

According to most leases, your only hope is to return your apartment in the same condition as when you took possession, beyond “normal wear and tear.” Still, though, this raises the question: What exactly is normal wear and tear, and what crosses the line?

Read on to learn just what you need to fix, and what you can let slide.

What qualifies as ‘normal wear and tear’

Unfortunately, when it comes to pinpointing wear and tear, there’s no specific laundry list of flaws that landlords will find acceptable to leave behind. It helps to think in terms of things you encounter in your own home on a daily basis.

“Have you ever put a nail in the wall to hang a picture or scuffed the wall carrying in groceries?” asks Trent Zachmann, chief operating officer of Renters Warehouse, which manages residential real estate. (Of course you have!) “These kinds of things happen.”

Normal wear and tear is light damage that occurs over time and doesn’t affect the use of the home or appliances; it’s just not aesthetically pleasing. Other examples of normal wear and tear are light scratches on wood floors, wear spots on carpet (but not stains), and loose railings or banisters.

What tenants must fix

According to Gary Malin, president of Citi Habitats, these are some of the most common things that renters would be responsible for fixing:

  • Excessively scratched or gouged floors
  • Broken windows or torn screens
  • Broken or nonworking appliances
  • Pet stains and odors
  • Custom wall coverings such as paint or wallpaper
  • Any installations like shelving, light fixtures, or window treatments

The importance of a move-in checklist

All landlords or property managers will have different expectations, and so on your move-in day it’s important to discuss the condition they expect you to keep your apartment in. Scratches and discoloration should be documented, so whip out your smartphone or camera and take photos of any flaws you see and make sure your landlord is aware of them so he knows you didn’t create them.

Ideally, your landlord should provide a checklist of the property condition upon move in. But if not, Kimberly Smith of AvenueWest, which manages corporate housing, recommends creating your own (you can download a sample rental property checklist online). Ask your landlord to sign the document to make it official, include photos of flaws, and, if you want to be extra careful, search online and try to find out the life expectancy of various items. One biggie is the carpet.

“The carpet is a great example of an amenity that many tenants and landlords dispute,” Smith explains. “To establish the expectations for the cleanliness of the carpet, first start with the total life expectancy.” Experts estimate that in a household of two to four people, carpet will typically last around three to five years. So if the tenant rents a newly carpeted place for five years and the carpet needs to be replaced when he moves out, then this is considered normal wear and tear.

In other words, make yourself at home and don’t sweat the small scuffs.

Source: realtor.com