What to do about vacation rental damage that was not my fault but for which I am being accused of?

UPDATED: Jul 10, 2012

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What to do about vacation rental damage that was not my fault but for which I am being accused of?

I was staying at a vacation rental and the owner is trying to say I did $800 damage to a 20 square foot piece of cheap rug even though the damage was already there. He is now involving a lawyer and I am a single mother who goes to school full time who can not afford one. What actions should I take to fix the situation. The damage was not my fault and the estimate for the small amount of damage is absurd and implies that he plans to replace the whole rug on my dime.

Asked on July 10, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Connecticut


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You need to understand that undder the law of all states the owner of the property has the burden of proving that you in fact caused the damages to the rug claimed where you claim that the damage was pre-existing.

You should also be aware that assuming the owner can prove that you allegedly caused the damages, the damages are the lesser of the costs of repair or the value of the item's fair market value at the time of the damage.

The owner does not get a brand new rug at today' cost. Hopefully you have witnesses who were at the vacation rental to back up your position that the damaged rug was damaged when you took possession of the unit. 

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