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Posts: 2
Reply with quote  #1 
I have had a tenant for the six months on a one year lease. He called me on 1-06-18 to report water damage entering unit, I stopped by with permission and noticed damaged drywall that would need to be repaired by maintenance. I talked with the upstairs tenant and informed them not to used the washer until maintenance could repair it, the upstairs tenant mentioned that their were “dogs and cats” that were sometimes loud as well as feces outside from the downstairs tenant. I reviewed the downstairs tenants lease and it states “No Pet” so I called him and asked if there were in fact pets in the unit, he mentioned that he had one dog and there was a cat that was his daughters that was there one weekend. I mentioned that we would need to add the pet and a $250 security deposit for the animal to be there.

1-08-18 Maintenance fixed the washer for the upstairs tenant as well as attempted to enter the downstairs unit but the dog was barking at the door so he did not attempt to walk in.

1-09-18 maintenance attempted to enter again with the same result as the dog seemed aggressive. Maintenance called the downstairs tenant and addressed the dog issue. The tenant stated that he would put the dog away and it wouldn’t be an issue.

1-10-18 maintenance removed the and put blowers in.

1-12-18 maintenance brought a dehumidifier in for repairs.

1-16-18 maintenance stopped by and the dog was again an issue

1-18-18 I called a nearby neighbor and asked about the pet, she informed me that she has seen 2-3 dogs their as well as 1-4 cats and seen one spraying by the foundation, as well as 1-2 roommates.

1-19-18 I issued a notice under the provisions of harm and damage caused animals and gave the tenant a notice to leave by the end of the month also that I wanted the animals to remain elsewhere for his remainer of time their.

1-29-18 I received a notice via first class mail for the downstairs tenant that he has in fact left the unit as of today. “There was no damage done by animals as you will see when you enter the unit. The cat spraying that you mentioned in my notice is in fact the upstairs neighbors cat and I have video of the cat spraying on my vehicle. As for damage to the unit itself there is one blind in the first bedroom that was broken by my daughter pulling on it that you can take out of my deposit. Other than that I would like $800 for a wrongful termination of my lease as well as being reimbursed $275 for rent from the 1-20-18 to 1-31-18 for not finishing the repairs to my unit, fiberglass blowing around is a hazard and you cannot use my dog as an excuse since it has been removed by your request as of 1-19-18. Also my full security deposit minus the blind repair. I really would to avoid small claims but not giving a 31 day notice of termination is illegal.”

Do I pay the tenant or challenge him in small claims if he takes it there?

Posts: 3,814
Reply with quote  #2 
Did you issue the tenant notice to quit or cure his violation (remove the pets and stay)? That would have been the proper step in most states. After he didn't, then you could terminate the lease for noncompliance. If you didnt follow the proper legal steps for your state, you may have terminated his lease improperly.

Second, why would you owe him a partial month of rent when he was still in possession of the unit? He didn't tell you he was out until the 29th. So why would you refund money for when he still had the unit? Let him know you had tried several times to make those repairs, but his unauthorized dog prevented it.

Posts: 2
Reply with quote  #3 
I chatted with him a little bit this morning, his response to the attempted repairs was. “You said you wanted the pet out of the unit by the next day and said that you would be checking daily. Since the dog was out the next day you’ve had plenty of time to fix the unit. Also I would like reimbursed for the electricity used for the blowers since my electric bill is $10 higher this month. By the way since this house was built in 1905 and I didn’t get a notice about possible lead exposure do you have any records regarding this?” I’m honestly not sure what to do, should I just denie everything and risk court or pay the full deposit and termination of the lease?

Posts: 550
Reply with quote  #4 
It sounds like you didn't give the right notice. In VA, I would have to give them a cure or quit notice to fix any violations of the lease. It is illegal to kick them out on such short notice (even on a month-to-month lease, you would have to give a 30-day notice). 

Have you inspected it yet? Barring any significant damage, I would give him the full refund (I wouldn't even worry about the blinds, they are probably $30 or something, not worth it in THIS case). I would NOT give him a rent refund since he still had possession of the unit until the 29th. 

I would ignore the lead question (and make sure you give the required notices for lead, mold, asbestos, etc. in the future).
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