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KCChiefsMan
01-24-2006, 05:05 PM
ok I have been thinking about this for quite some time, I have not consulted with a lawyer yet. I want to move out of the house I have been living in for the past 5 years (this is my 6th year of living here). There are many things wrong with this house, it's not an apartment of duplex, it's a 3 bedroom house with a large unfinished basement and 1 car gargage.

Me and my roommate who has also lived here for same amount of time as me, are worried that we may be obligated to pay for all of the things that are wrong with the place. The carpet is bad, the garage door doesn't work, the back patio is kinda broken (but it was like that when we moved in), the plumbing is bad, a lot of leaks that go down into the basement. The paint job on the exterior is bad. If I owned the house this never would have happened because I would have had all that done myself, but I don't want to pay for major jobs on a house I do not own.

We're just worried that all of the wear and tear over the past 6 years may come back to haunt us. The landlord hasn't done anything at all, I wish we haven't lived here this long. I replaced the washer & dryer that broke down a couple of years ago because the landlord wouldn't, and the washer & dryer that we moved into were probably made in the 1980's. The landlord is kind of a douche, and we are worried that he may try to charge us thousands of dollars when we move out in August.

Does anybody have any experience with this? is there some wear and tear clause that would prevent us from being obligated for most of the major things that are wrong? I imagine that we will lose our security deposit of $900 which is fine, and I wouldn't mind paying a little bit, but not for major repairs that really aren't our fault. Like I said, I think it would have been stupid on our part to fix up the house that we don't own.

any advice would be great

wutamess
01-24-2006, 05:09 PM
& why can't you just move once your contract is up?

Fat Elvis
01-24-2006, 05:11 PM
Considering how you like to post pictures of yourself online, you might look back and see if you have any pics of the house when you first moved in to demonstrate damage that was present when you moved in.

KCChiefsMan
01-24-2006, 05:12 PM
& why can't you just move once your contract is up?


well we can, but we're just worried that he may try to charge us for stuff that I don't think he should. like exterior paint, plumbing, carpet, garage door, and other stuff I can't think of right now

KCChiefsMan
01-24-2006, 05:13 PM
Considering how you like to post pictures of yourself online, you might look back and see if you have any pics of the house when you first moved in to demonstrate damage that was present when you moved in.


unfortunately I do not

Simplex3
01-24-2006, 05:19 PM
The property is his and unless there is some pretty special and possibly illegal language in the contract then all maintenance of the property is his problem. Part of what you expect when you rent a property is that you will have to do the maintenance.

1. I wouldn't worry about it.
2. If you kept the old, busted down washer and drier those would be the ones I'd leave. If you didn't keep them then I'd start talking to him about a deduction on your final rent payment for the value of the new ones.

The only way any of this comes back to bite you is if he can show that you knocked down a wall or some other intentional or grossly negligent action.

wutamess
01-24-2006, 05:21 PM
Carpet, paint, etc is maintenance and up to the landlord to take care of. Unless you knocked a hole in the wall or something that you had to intentionally do, you're not liable.

ChiefsCountry
01-24-2006, 05:22 PM
Get a lawyer to be on the safe side.

Simplex3
01-24-2006, 05:25 PM
Get a lawyer to be on the safe side.
Don't pay money to a bloodsucker until the landlord makes a stink. He probably owns other properties that he lets go to s**t, too. Odds are this is nothing new for him.

chefsos
01-24-2006, 07:08 PM
Hell, if this guy has been collecting rent from you guys for 5 years without having to lift a finger to maintain the place or have to listen to a bunch of whining, he's way ahead of the game, as long as you didn't do anything to trash the place.

You guys are probably his favorite tenants.

KCChiefsMan
01-24-2006, 07:17 PM
we haven't asked the landlord for much at all, and we've paid the rent on time every single month we've lived here. The place isn't trashed by any means, it definately needs a new carpet, paint job, back patio needs work, the basement is actually much cleaner from when we moved in here, there was about a half of a foot of dirt over the cement and we cleared that out when we moved in. Garage door does not work at all though, the plumbing leaks. I dunno, I usually try to prepare for the worst in situations like this, he probably doesn't even remember the condition of the place when we moved in, the main thing is the carpet......

Iowanian
01-24-2006, 07:23 PM
If you have a lease, without at "out" clause....you're obligated to it.

If you've done damage, beyond the "normal wear and tear", you're liable for it.

What does that mean? If you burned food to the stove cups, you're liable....if there is normal foot traffic wearing over the 6 years, you're not, however if you stained it up, you're liable. If you knock holes in the wall, break windows, gouge the drywall, rip screens, break doors, leave dumptruck loads of crap....you're liable........at least as far as not getting back your damage deposit.

if the roof is leaking....not your fault. If you got drunk and ran into the garage door and knocked it off..its your fault.

I've been on both ends....lived as a tenent, helped parents manage properties for years, and this fall, physically evicted another douchebag who destroyed a house and owed 6 months rent.

It would take quite a bit for them to be able to get anything beyond damage deposit, unless say, you had a party and DESTROYED the house.

2 sides to every story.

sedated
01-24-2006, 07:23 PM
I agree with Simplex, you don't have anything invested in it except the deposit.

Unless you signed a really f*cked up lease, you can let the thing crumble and not have to pay anything other than rent.

In fact, since you invested in a new W&D, you may be entitled to something extra.

If he doesn't agree, take the W&D with you and tell the assh0le to take it out of your deposit, which you probably won't get back anyway.

trndobrd
01-24-2006, 07:27 PM
Are you a KU student? Student legal services at the Law School can help you out on this. A lot of this is going to depend on what your lease agreement says. Generally, you are not liable for normal wear and tear, especially anything on the outside.

Phobia
01-24-2006, 07:27 PM
Never count on getting your deposit back. The W/D is definitely yours. Take it. Everything else is on him.

I wouldn't even give it a second thought.

Iowanian
01-24-2006, 07:29 PM
Other side of the story.

I've been a tenant, and in one house, a roomate and I painted(provided by landlord...ugly ass green) and we installed pocket doors, a shower sprayer et al.

In short...made physical improvements to the house, one of which turned a wasted area, into another bedroom.

During that time, the landlord allowed the longhairs upstairs to splice into MY phone line and use it, going as far as giving them OUR number so they could use it, and I started getting calls for the hippys. Bullshit. Thats the beginning of it.

During that lease(a very weak lease) My younger brother and I purchased a home..well, yeah..it was a home for a while.....and wanted out.

Following all the proceedures per the lease, and considering the work we'd done, that was approved and inspected and "thank you'd" by the landlord....she tried to keep our damage deposit.

I know there are slumlords out there too....and if you're truely leaving the house with only normal, reasonable wear and tear....you've got legs to stand on Lt Dan.

My wife and her roomates had a douchebag landlord in Ankeny IA who kept $250 when they moved because they hadn't moved a stove and regrigerator and cleaned behind and under them.....the stove was built in.

Some landlords are just douchebags....but so are ALOT of renters. Its quite probable that you wouldn't expect ALL of your damage deposit back, or any of it if you leave the lease early.

Iowanian
01-24-2006, 07:34 PM
....I hate to say it.....

but Think about how much equity you'd have built over the past 6 years if you'd purchased something, with the same payment made by you and the roomate.

Oxford
01-24-2006, 07:37 PM
When you leave, don't leave trash, vacuum the rooms, clean the bathrooms, clean trash out of the garage, clean the oven, wipe out the refrigerator. Then take pictures of everything, video camera will work well here. That way you have proof that you left it in reasonable condition. You are probably not liable, but you might kiss you deposit goodbye. Have legal aid look at your lease and see what is in the fine print

Boozer
01-24-2006, 07:54 PM
My law firm probably represents your landlord. Just add an additional $400 to your last rent payment and we'll call it even.

Bugeater
01-24-2006, 08:47 PM
If you're willing to kiss the deposit good-bye, he'd have to sue you in small claims court for anything else. Unless you've destroyed the place it would be very unlikely that he'd do that.

Hog Farmer
01-25-2006, 06:55 AM
If you have a lease, without at "out" clause....you're obligated to it.

If you've done damage, beyond the "normal wear and tear", you're liable for it.

What does that mean? If you burned food to the stove cups, you're liable....if there is normal foot traffic wearing over the 6 years, you're not, however if you stained it up, you're liable. If you knock holes in the wall, break windows, gouge the drywall, rip screens, break doors, leave dumptruck loads of crap....you're liable........at least as far as not getting back your damage deposit.

if the roof is leaking....not your fault. If you got drunk and ran into the garage door and knocked it off..its your fault.

I've been on both ends....lived as a tenent, helped parents manage properties for years, and this fall, physically evicted another douchebag who destroyed a house and owed 6 months rent.

It would take quite a bit for them to be able to get anything beyond damage deposit, unless say, you had a party and DESTROYED the house.

2 sides to every story.


Iowanian pretty much nails it. I own lots of rental property and you cannot expect the tenant to be responsible for normal wear and tear just like Iowanian says. You might find your original lease agreement and just read through it. Thats the only thing a judge would have to look at if he were to take you to court. If you entered into a lease to own then your may be responsible for maintaining the property in a condition equal to when you moved in. But that doesn't sound like the case. I've always treated my tenants as if they were my family, if they call with a problem I get it taken care of immediately.But on the other hand I dont go knocking on their door asking if they have something I can fix.
Bottomline is I wouldn't sweat it. Just clean the place up the best you can and move out. As a landlord I'm not about to waste my time and trouble taking someone to court for less than probably 2000 bucks and only then if I know for 100% that I would win the case.

bkkcoh
01-25-2006, 06:57 AM
did it state in the lease that the landlord was liable for major repairs? even after a deductible?

Amnorix
01-25-2006, 07:30 AM
The new Washer/Dryer is yours, although in theory you owe you the old ones, or their value, what that works out to be.

As for the rest, it's all on him unless you intentionally broke/damaged/destroyed that stuff.

Review your lease. Make sure you provide adequate notice as required under the lease so that you terminate your lease in a timely fashion.

Don't bother giving money to a lawyer unless the landlord forces you to do it.

Amnorix
01-25-2006, 07:33 AM
When you leave, don't leave trash, vacuum the rooms, clean the bathrooms, clean trash out of the garage, clean the oven, wipe out the refrigerator. Then take pictures of everything, video camera will work well here. That way you have proof that you left it in reasonable condition. You are probably not liable, but you might kiss you deposit goodbye. Have legal aid look at your lease and see what is in the fine print


Superb advice, especially the photographs.

trndobrd
01-25-2006, 07:40 AM
Before you leave, take plenty of pictures of the entire house. After you leave, send a registered letter to the landlord providing your new address, the amount of your deposit, and that you expect the deposit returned in accordance with the Kansas Residential Landlord Tennant Act.

By KS statute, the Landlord must return your deposit, or provide an itemized list of damages and return the balance of your deposit, within (IIRC) 30 days (check that time limit, might be 60). If the Landlord fails to comply with the KRLTA he will be on the hook for double the deposit, plus any additional damages you can prove.

bkkcoh
01-25-2006, 07:41 AM
The new Washer/Dryer is yours, although in theory you owe you the old ones, or their value, what that works out to be.

...

If he insists that there needs to be a washer and dryer there, go by a pair for $75 to $100 dollars...... That would probably be good money spent.....

trndobrd
01-25-2006, 07:42 AM
The new Washer/Dryer is yours, although in theory you owe you the old ones, or their value, what that works out to be.

As for the rest, it's all on him unless you intentionally broke/damaged/destroyed that stuff.

Review your lease. Make sure you provide adequate notice as required under the lease so that you terminate your lease in a timely fashion.

Don't bother giving money to a lawyer unless the landlord forces you to do it .


STFU! People are trying to make a living here!

Chiefs Express
01-25-2006, 07:50 AM
To the best of your memory list the condition of the house when you moved in.

1. Did the garage door opener work when you moved in? If not, it's not your problem.

2. The plumbing leaking, did you notify the owner and ask for repairs? If so, did you do it in writing? Did you keep a copy?

3. Any wear and tear, like the carpet, is normal unless the carpet is really trashed you could be out for cleaning or replacement.

4. As stated before, there was a w/d in the house when you moved in, there has to be a set when you leave. If you have the originals, leave them. Did you notify the owner of their inoperability? What was his response, was it in writing? If the w/d was there but NOT included in the package, then you owe him nothing for them and can take your newer ones with you.

5. If you are willing to give up the $900 straight up that is OK, but don't let the owner know that, it sounds like the biggest problem is that he/she is a piss poor landlord and doesn't deserve to have your money if you did no damage.

I've been renting for 4 years now, some landlords are very honest and some are dirtballs. Only use a lawyer if you need to save your ass, the cost of hiring a lawyer will cost much more than you have invested, unless the landlord is going for some big money for repairs.

Someone said it might be better to own, I agree. When you own you will have a return on your investment when you sell.

Good luck.

Bob Dole
01-25-2006, 07:52 AM
Bob Dole would give 30 days notice and let the no-maintenance bastard take that month's $500 rent payment off of the $900 security deposit and dare him to take Bob Dole to court.

Bugeater
01-25-2006, 08:06 AM
To the best of your memory list the condition of the house when you moved in.


It's too late for that, the time to do that is before you move in. Anytime you move into a rental of any type, it's very important to list all existing damage to the unit. This means every chipped or scratched counter top, spots or rips in the carpet, ripped screens etc etc etc. Be very detailed. Have the landlord sign it before you sign the lease. There are landlords out there that will charge multiple tenants for the same damage that often existed even before the landlord owned it. It's not too hard to nickel & dime a deposit away

wutamess
01-25-2006, 08:06 AM
Bob Dole would give 30 days notice and let the no-maintenance bastard take that month's $500 rent payment off of the $900 security deposit and dare him to take Bob Dole to court.

:stupid:

Bugeater
01-25-2006, 08:08 AM
Bob Dole would give 30 days notice and let the no-maintenance bastard take that month's $500 rent payment off of the $900 security deposit and dare him to take Bob Dole to court.

That's where these landlords have an advantage, most renters are young and not as wise as Bob Dole.

Amnorix
01-25-2006, 08:10 AM
STFU! People are trying to make a living here!


:eek: I hope you're kidding...

Chiefs Express
01-25-2006, 08:16 AM
That's where these landlords have an advantage, most renters are young and not as wise as Bob Dole.

Are you calling Bob Dole old? I know the original is, but what about this imposter?

bkkcoh
01-25-2006, 08:18 AM
Are you calling Bob Dole old? I know the original is, but what about this imposter?


if the shoe fits..... :p :banghead:

but there are a few of us that are getting close to that category

Bugeater
01-25-2006, 08:20 AM
Are you calling Bob Dole old? I know the original is, but what about this imposter?

Yes I am, and I wouldn't recommend calling him an imposter. He has powers beyond your comprehension, like adding extra letters to your screenname.

Inspector
01-25-2006, 09:29 AM
Kind of sounds like the landlord didn't live up to his side of the lease, assuming that the lease had some sort of wording about the place being maintained or suitable for living.

I had an apartment back in the early 70's that had a problem with the shower head. I reported it - nothing happened. First of the month came and I wrote out the rent check and put it in the desk drawer. A couple of weeks later the landlord left me a note on the door asking about the rent check. I went to his office, pulled the check out of my pocket and told him, "here it is", and as he reached for it, I quickly folded it in half and put it back in my pocket.

I then explained to him that I reported a problem with the shower and it was ignored. He was not fullfilling his responsibilities according to our lease.

That afternoon my shower was fixed and the rent got paid.

You might consider making the landlord fix everything that's within his responsibility to take care of. Then when you move, those things won't be broke.

KCChiefsMan
01-25-2006, 04:20 PM
Bob Dole would give 30 days notice and let the no-maintenance bastard take that month's $500 rent payment off of the $900 security deposit and dare him to take Bob Dole to court.


it's $900 per month, hence the $900 security deposit

bringbackmarty
01-25-2006, 05:51 PM
Do not pay your last months rent until you and he have a conversation about the washer and dryer. If he isn't willing to:
Give you a full deposit refund, and buy your washer and dryer, than do not pay the last months rent, and take the w\d with you. I have never not gotten a deposit back. Due to the fact that I bring it up early, (at least a month or two before I move) and will not sign a lease unless the deposit is held in escrow. The only guy who tried to screw me, got no last month's rent instead. As well as a nasty letter. Most evictions take 60 days at least, so holding the rent check until you get your deposit check is a good option if you suspect being screwed.