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Is it damage or structural problem?

Posted by Tenant007 on August 31, 1997 at 20:12:58:


While doing the final cleaning of the ceramic tiles in the bathroom of my old apartment (one year
lease expired, property owner is a flake) several tiles fell out and there's a sizeable hole in the
wall behind. In addition, there are several other tiles on one of the other wall which are not secured
(one fell out, three more just hanging on), trim tiles loose, one corner tile that you can lift out.

In talking with another tenant who was moving out this weekend also, I learned that he had the same
problem twice in six years in his bathroom (fixed both times), as well as cracked plaster, water damaged
ceiling and on occasion actual flowing water on interior walls during rain. These apartments were by
no means uninhabitable. Quite the contrary, they look nice.

My question is this. Can the property owner withold all or part of my security deposit for "damage" to
the bathroom wall? It looks to me like it is an issue of structural weakness. It was not caused by
negligence or abuse. I can see where it may be termed an "accident," because it happened while I was
cleaning, but not on purpose.

This guy is known for his litigous ways and has been known to badger and bully tenants. One tenant had
to fight tooth and nail to get her security deposit back and her place was in A1 shape (or, so I'm told).

Is there anything I can do? I've documented the damage via photographs and included a handwritten, dated and
signed letter to him discussing not only the damage but my knowledge of similar situations in other units in the
envelope I've returned the keys in. Will this be enough if this guy tries to take me to court? I'm freaked and
need help!

Many, many thanks!!

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