Q: Can I charge tenant now for damages but finish the work at a later time?
We had a tenant who broke the lease and left the floors in bad shape. More damage here than what is left of the deposit and so we will be looking for them to pay. This is definitely more than normal wear and tear but we have new tenants ready to move in and they are fine if we put off some of the work until a later time. Can we charge the tenants the full amount needed to fix the damages even if the work isn't complete before we close up the accounting?
A: Yes, a landlord is entitled to recover damages even if they elect to not repair the property (the dwelling without the damages is worth $XXX. If tenant puts 6 foot hole in wall, dwelling worth $XXX minus cost of repair ($YY). So landlord can fix and return dwelling's value to $XXX or not repair it and have dwelling only worth $XXX - $YY. Either way, landlord sustains a loss and is entitled to recover that loss from the offending tenant). If you do not immediately repair, be sure to fully document the damage and the amount of the repairs - estimates from professional firms best.
Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.
The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.
Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.