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Security deposit dispute-Please Help!

We own a duplex in Michigan.  The lease states the securty deposit is to ensure the tenant complies with all terms and conditions of the lease.  The lease states all utilites and services, maintenance of the lawn, and snow removal are responisbilites of the tenant.  The tenant moved out Nov30 and did not clean up any of the fallen leaves, the entire yard was covered in leaves. We spent 16 hours raking up leaves. We only charged the tenant $75 for the neglected lawn maintenance. We did not rent this property in this condition to the tenant and we could not rent it to another tenant in the condition it was in. We received paperwork from an attorney that states we can not keep the security deposit for not cleaning up the yard. We feel the lease states that is their responsiblity and states that the security deposit is to be held to ensure they follow the terms of the lease that we should be allowed to do this.  Can we fight this?
1 Comment

You can always fight or dispute any differences in court. I guess what I would consider would be; does the time and expense out-weigh the reward. If you are just speaking of $75 and you must take a day to go to court and spend the money on court fees and what not, is your aggravation worth the amount of money in dispute? Perhaps you could write back to the attorney and let them know you will split the cost in half. But if you choose to stand on principal and do not mind the time and potential expense, then I would go for it; the worst that can happen is that the judge would rule against you.
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