What to do if our former landord claims we never paid rent 1 month and is trying to deduct it from our security deposit?

UPDATED: Sep 21, 2012

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What to do if our former landord claims we never paid rent 1 month and is trying to deduct it from our security deposit?

It was in fact paid and we have a bank statement to prove it. Can we sue him for this portion of our deposit back as well as the late fee we were charged and other late fees considering his records are inaccurate? Could we also sue him for making deductions in bad faith and receive punitive damages?

Asked on September 21, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Minnesota


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You most likely cannot receive punitive damages--even "bad faith" is generally not enough to do that; rather it requires truly egregious behavior, more than commercial or contractual disputes (and that's what a lease is--a contract) typically provide. However, you can sue to recover the money he improperly took from you and any late fees.

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