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Small Claims Court

My tenant left my townhouse with a damage Kitchen floor, uncleaned, and keys not returned.  The total cost, including replacing the Kitchen Floor, is approx $1,100.  The tenant is threatening to sue me if I deduct this amount from their Security Deposit.  If I go court and lose in part or total, am I responsible for their legal fees and damages? If so, that would mean in a worse case, I could be out $3,000 or $4,000...  am I better off absorbing the loss?  Thanks  Tom
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Within 30 days after the tenant moves out, the landlord must return thesecurity deposit and interest, less any rent the tenant may owe or any charges for repairing damage that the tenant may have done to the property. If the landlord deducts any amounts for damages or rent, he or she must give the tenant a complete list of the damages he or she claims the tenant has done to the property and the cost of repairs. The landlord must send the tenant the list of damages by registered or certified mail, and the landlord must return to you any money left over from your security deposit. Cite: N.J.S.A. 46:8-21.1.   With that being said......any damages MUST be aboe any ordinary wear and tear! It is wise to take pictures as well as have complete evidence ofwhat the cost of the repairs will be. As far as court costs being awarded to a tenant or a landlord, this is generally up to the individual judge in a court. But for a detailed explanation of costs:  see New Jersey Law 4:42-8. Costs
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