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North Carolina Tenant left 2 months prior to end of lease, disconnected utilities, and stated that would continue to pay rent due until the end of lease. The tenant did NOT qualify exception to breaking the lease early  Three months PRIOR to leaving tenant had reported damages to property amounting to 75% of deposit At the time tenant stated that they would take care of repairs.  Upon tenants "early departure" property was inspected, in addition to the previously (tenant) reported  damages, there were additional damages (determined by professionally provided quotes) to 125% of one month's rent.  We proceeded to repair all damages, and "mitigated tenants losses" by renting the property one month prior to the end of tenant's original lease. Tenant had already begun making last payment when the NEW tenant signed a new lease.  Damages documented with receipts, and professional quotes exceed  "amount (1 month rent) owed back to tenant". Can we legally apply the rent amount to the damages reported to tenant within the legal timeline? Or do we have to refund rent, and then file to recover excess damages in small claims court.  P.S: All damage has been clearly documented with photos and with several different professional quotes.
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