What are the consequences of a short term rental and damages being deducted from the security deposit?

UPDATED: Sep 1, 2011

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What are the consequences of a short term rental and damages being deducted from the security deposit?

I live in NY but own a short rental home in PA. I rented the house to a couple who also live in NY for the weekend. After their departure my cleaning found dog feces in one of the rooms. I notified the renters and even provided pictures. I want to deduct the carpet cleaning cost from their security deposit but they refuse and claimed the house was not what they expected and therefore shouldn’t have to pay for the cost of cleaning the carpet. They told me they are going to take me to small claims court. Will they have to take me to court in PA or NY? Also, do I have a case?

Asked on September 1, 2011 under Real Estate Law, New York


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Your short term renters have the option of taking you to small claims court in Pennsylvania which is where they rented the home that you own and where they have issues, or in New York which is the state where you live and have your permanent residence.

In general you have a valid basis for carpet cleaning charges for the one room where you found dog feces assuming you can prove that these particular renters had a dog at your unit with them. Potentially you can deduct the cleaning charges for this particular carpet from their security deposit.

I suggest that you read any written lease that you have with these renters in that its terms control the obligations they owe you and what you owe them in the absence of conflicting state law. Potentially there are terms in the written agreement that your renters may have signed about cleaning fees and allowance of animals in the unit that could be of assistance to you.

From what you have written, you have a justifiable grievance against these renters.

Good luck.

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