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Tenat moves out, short notice

Tenant notified landlord about Tenant's sister moving out with no notice on 15 Jun 2013. This put tenant in financial difficulty. A week later tenant offers to pay less rent. Landlord declined this offer. Landlord countered with willing to waive balance of lease (9 mnths) with costs charged to tenant upon closing. Few days later it became apparent that tenant is planning to move. No written notice though. Landlord requested tenant on 25 Jul 2013 to stay till end of August. Tenant moved out 03 August 2013. Property is quite dirty and tenant did some amateur paintwork. Some authorized and some not. Also some damages. Landlord did walk-through and sent findings to tenant by e-mail. Did a lease closing statement and sent to tenant by e-mail. Tenant did not pay August rent, utilities or services. This was all included in the closing statement. According to this statement, tenant will owe money to landlord above what the security deposit covers. Tenant submitted this to their attorneys. What does landlord have to have everything in place in order to collect all these costs against the security deposit?

It is not uncommon to have charges above the security deposit and a typical lease states that the landlord is not bound to only the security deposit amount for damages. Assuming that your lease states such you need to establish how you came up with the charges (e.g., cost of paint, cost of contractor, cost of cleaner, etc.). If he has reached out to an attorney I would suggest you do the same. Again, most standard leases state that the tenant will be responsible for legal fees if it comes to that and they are found to be in the wrong. You're attorney can advise your further, but I would recommend third-party mitigation and not a full blown law suit (typically not worth the headache). Simply document everything, do not communicate via phone, put everything in writing, a lot of theses situations come down to he-said-she-said which never works out for anyone. If you have sent him emails as you stated, make sure to keep them. I have a log of every time I communicate with my tenant and what was said - this ensures I have a trail.
Thanks for the reply. The security deposit will be consumed by the unpaid August rent. Then there will be costs for damages etc. Keeping all communication. Need to find a local real estate attorney.
Look over on the left hand navigation of this forum. The third options should be attorneys. There are listed attorneys by state listed there. Good luck!
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