Q: We rent a family home that is next door to our home. There are 60+ acres of farmland surrounding the house.
The original lease said that the renters could not go on this land without permission from owners. Violation could result in eviction and not getting security deposit back. We found out that they had been frequently hunting and fishing on the property. We chose not to evict and offered them the option to pay extra for hunting and fishing access. That was an amendment to the lease in 2016. Well now they were evicted for other reasons and they want their deposit back. At this point, could we cite this part of the original lease to retain the deposit?
A: If I understand the facts, then NO, the lease was modified when you offered them the option to pay for the hunting and fishing ( and I assume they agreed and paid). By doing so, you essentially agreed the prior violation would not be an eviction offenses. The security deposit is usually to protect for damage to the premises. Consult an experienced local real estate attorney for advice on your specific situation.
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