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Re: landlord demands we pay for non-negligent repair

Posted by TenantNet on January 28, 1997 at 10:10:20:

In Reply to: landlord demands we pay for non-negligent repair posted by Alan McClendon on January 28, 1997 at 09:42:36:

: I wrote once before on this and would like clarification.
: Over three years ago we had a mysterious flooding incident. We don't know what caused it,
: and the landlord couldn't find the source either.
: We told them that we were gone from home, and returned to find the problem.
: The tell us that since they cannot find an obvious source, that we must have left the bathtub running. We did not do this,
: but they will not quit sending us a bill for over six hundred dollars for this damage to the carpet they had to replace.
: We live in georgia, and do not know what to do.

Send them a bill for reading their mail.

Seriously, it's harassment and they hope you'll end up paying just to make it
go away. Don't pay it and if/when you move I would consider not paying the
last month's rent to "recover" your security deposit (and interest if allowed
in your area) as they will surely try to keep the deposit on this claim.
ALso make sure that everything else is OK, no damages and get witnesses and
take photos.

Keep them in a position where they must prove you actually caused the
damage (of course they can't). Things happen; plumbing breaks, and just
because the cause is unexplainable does not mean the conclusion must be
therefore you caused it. If they want the money their remedy is to take you
to court and from what you tell me thay can't prove it one way or the other.
We don't know the particularities of Georgia law, so this is a general
observation and you might wish to consult with a lawyer.

If you really want it to end, send them a certified letter explaining you are
not responsible either through act or negligence, that you don't intend to
pay and if they feel they have a case showing negligence, they should
immediately forward to you any evidence they might have showing that you
are responsible and that if they wish to pursue it, they should commence a
court action. (but realize once you draw the line they just might do that).
Also check your lease fine print. Most states have an "implied warranty of
habitability" that might not be in the lease that says the owner is
responsible for maintaining the premises in a habitable condition. THis
doe not excuse a negligent and vandalous tenant, but the owner must show
this to be the case.

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