Wha to do if my old rental agency is trying to charge me for alleged damages to a house that we did not do?

Get Legal Help Today

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Wha to do if my old rental agency is trying to charge me for alleged damages to a house that we did not do?

My old rental agency from college is trying to charge over $4000 in damages to a house that my roommates and I allegedly did. The house was in poor condition when we moved in. The rental agency has since sent the money to collections and it is affecting my credit score. We are trying to stand our ground and not pay for these alleged damages that they’re accusing us of. What are my options? We did not to a walk-through upon entering /existing the lease.

Asked on November 16, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Oregon

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Legally, if you and your roomates did  the  damage, you'd need to pay. And conversely, if you did not specifically cause the damage, but it was just due to cummulative wear and tear, you'd not be liable.

(Note that "you" includes your guests--so if you have party guests, friends, or visitors who caused damage you are liable.)

The issue then is factual--did you cause  the damage or not? Can the landlord prove the damage was done by you? Etc. Without hard evidence, like photographs, or inspection reports signed by you and the landlord, it will come down to testimony--yours, versus the rental agency's.

For more than $4,000, you should hire an attorney. The lawyer can contest the charge and also try to negotiate to some mutually acceptable settlement. You should be prepared that you will probably have to pay  something to clear this up, unless you have good evidence on your side--otherwise, if this went to trial, the rental agency could likely prove at least some of the damage. Therefore, you may wish to consider what settlement you would consider acceptable, and try to reach that number.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption