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Posts: 4
Reply with quote  #1 
I am a newbie Landlord and have had the worst experience so far. The tenants have paid their rent late every month, this is the third month and I have a summons for unlawful detainer on them. They have since paid the month's rent, but have not yet vacated the property. They were served an eviction notice for contract breach that gives them up to 11/03/13 to move out voluntarily. Our court date on that summons is 11/16/12 and I hope they will move out voluntarily before that.

After Sandy (the storm) I requested a post-storm inspection. At that inspection I could not open the deck sliding door and just gave up accessing the deck. My boyfriend was there with me and is a eye-witness to the condition of the door and piles of trash left on the deck. Anyway, that same evening I sent them an email with move out instructions, where to leave the keys, etc. Their disgruntle response was "you broke the deck door, you have to fix it, we can't get our stuff out of the deck storage, you must do that repair before 11/03/12". Mentioning the door was stuck before I got there was useless. The response was even more aggressive. All on email.

From those emails we assumed:
- they are threatening to stay in the property with the excuse that they can't get to their stuff
- they won't take responsibility for the repair
- the problem with the door must be serious  - since they can't get the door open at all - and beyond our ability to repair ourselves so we need to call a locksmith

I have just returned from that repair appointment.
- the trash they had on the deck was moved around and rearranged since my post-storm inspection - they are not allowed to keep trash on the deck in the first place. That shows they had access to the deck after I left, and have lied about not being able to get to their things.
- the locksmith was able to open the door without any special tools or tricks of the trade.
- the lock just needed a little oil.

Now I have this $160 dollar bill for a repair call that was not an emergency and not needed - that was not half as serious as the tenant led me to believe. Can I charge that bill from their deposit?



Posts: 3,814
Reply with quote  #2 
No. The lock did need attention since you couldn't open it either.  You can't prove that they did something to break the door.  (Maybe they just managed to get it open after you left and didn't tell you.)  Look at it this way, since they now have access to the deck, they have no excuse not to move out.  The repair bill was cheaper than an eviction and set out.

Posts: 4
Reply with quote  #3 
Thanks. They have not moved so I guess I will make my money back with penalty charges. Bummer.

Posts: 1
Reply with quote  #4 
Yes Locksmith should be consulted if you have any type of locking problems.They are the experts in their profession and offer you awesome service.
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