What can be done about a tenant not notifying me about water damage that was getting worse?

UPDATED: Oct 2, 2022

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What can be done about a tenant not notifying me about water damage that was getting worse?

There was a leak above the kitchen about a year ago and someone went out and did some stuff to repair it. Apparently the job was never done right and I was unaware of that and I never received notification that it wasn’t finished properly and that it was getting worse. The tenant is moving out and when I asked him about

it they said that they just assumed that I was busy and that was it. Is there anything I can do in regards to this matter seeing as it’s going to cost a lot of money to fix since it wasn’t caught or completed at the beginning.

Asked on August 16, 2019 under Real Estate Law, Maryland


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

A tenant is responsible for damage done by his negligence, or unreasonable carelessness--which includes negligence in not mentioning a leak which is known or obvious to the tenant, and so allowing it to get worse and/or cause damage. You can withhold repair costs from the the tenant's security deposit; if the cost exceeds the deposit, you can sue for the balance.

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