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Additional damage charges beyond security deposit - Landlord Forum thread 240556







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Additional damage charges beyond security deposit by JM (FL) on November 17, 2011 @02:00

                              
I'm a first time landlord. Unfortunately prior to tenancy I discounted the security deposit in good faith to a military couple thinking that I would not face too many problems. It turned out that they have caused more damage to the property than what can be covered with the security deposit. After I issue a settlement charges statement exceeding the security deposit amount, how long in Florida do they have to pay if they agree to pay the total charges. I know they have 15 days to respond if they don't agree but was wondering if anyone knew if I can put a due date on the additional charges.
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Re: Additional damage charges beyond security deposit by Katiekate (New York) on November 17, 2011 @07:24 [ Reply ]
There really isn't any waiting period...but.
I would give them 30 days to make good on the payment.

They go file in small claims.

I hope you got a complete walk thru condition report when they moved in.

I hope you got pictures of the condition at move in.

I hope you have good documentation and pictures at move out.

You will need all that to convince a judge. Sometimes, even with all the documentation you need...the judge is an a$$ and you end up with an appeal.

Never accept anyone who cannot pay the full SD. When you find someone who cannot afford it..you are dealing with someone who is a below par tenant. Expect damage and deadbeat behavior.
LL Tip: Lowering the Rent vs. Lowering the Deposit by Eric (MN) on November 17, 2011 @07:35 [ Reply ]
How much additional damages are you talking about? Odds are, it will not be woth the effort to collect. Perhaps with the Military being an enforcer, it may help you. If it's less than $500, consider a lesson learned.

LL Tip: Lowering the Rent vs. Lowering the Deposit to Attract Tenants

Sometimes, we think have to attract tenants in unconventional ways. Many people have no money. After showing your unit many times, you think no one has any money. Some people have lower income levels. Some people lack the ability to save, and a landlord wants to “get them in”, so they lower the tenant’s entry hurdle. This is a mistake that will almost always come back to haunt you. You have a hard time renting your unit, and you finally have a tenant willing to move in. The only issue is, they do not have enough money to move in. They probably do not have a high credit score either.

When your tenant does not have enough capital to pay the deposit and first month’s rent to move into a new place, they will not have the capital when their car breaks down, or they have any other mishap with their finances. They will be short rent, and you will be out rent. Good tenants have a financial reserve or plan for emergency expenses. If they are good tenants, they will be getting their deposit back from the old place, and will then be able to use that to replace their financial cushion they used for your deposit. A good tenant shops around, but knows a damage deposit is required. They also know they will get it back, because they will leave your unit in good condition.

When your rent is at the top end, you are going to be renting to a subpar renter, almost by definition. Good tenants can go anywhere. Subpar renters get rejected by all of the big-box places, and have limited options. Subpar renters need to pay more rent, but do not have enough money for a deposit. A subpar renter believes they can pay the rent, and know if worse comes to worse, they can pay you later or move out. They do not have much to lose, and they do not have much of a deposit invested. If you really want these subpar renters, lower your rent so they can afford it, but you are far better off waiting for a qualified tenant.
Re: Additional damage charges beyond security deposit by Anonymous (FL) on November 17, 2011 @10:03 [ Reply ]
There is no legal amount of time to pay extra, other than the time frame you offer them. What you should have done is the security deposit settlement statement that simply lists all deduction amounts and shows final amount owed. Of course in FL you have to make sure to mail it properly and list proper wording in this. Then separately I would have included, or mail it now, a letter about the money amount due. I would give a deadline to pay this amount due or else you will file in small claims court. I think 30 days is a good amount of time to give them to pay by. The reason I would do this separately is becuase in FL you have to give tenant time to respond if they don't agree with security deposit deductions and I wouldn't want to impeed this. As you know if they don't respond in 15 days, you get to keep deductions and tenant can't even file in court for rest of security deposit if they didn't respond.
Re: Additional damage charges beyond security deposit by Anonymous on November 17, 2011 @13:18 [ Reply ]
You know, if youve rented to someone in the military, they answer to a higher authority than the rest of us. Find out their superior, send a brief note and photos describing the damages, and i think youll be very surprised at the cooperation with your former tenant.
Re: Additional damage charges beyond security deposit by Greg on November 20, 2011 @15:10 [ Reply ]
Being ex military myself I agree with the previous post.

Find out who the tenants commanding officer is and contact him with all of the correct paperwork to document the problem.

Believe me when I say that having your CO come after you about money is not a fun thing at all. The military can and will prosecute military members for breaking the law (even if they've already been prosecuted in a civilian court).

That being said, let the tenant know what your about to do prior to talking to their CO. That alone might fix the problem.


Greg in Phoenix
Go Navy!

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