What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Florida
My lease ended back in October of 2009 and my landlord lived next door to me. To my knowledge, the lease ended on good terms (in fact, I have emails). 15 days after I moved out, I received a certified letter from my landlord advising that he was pursuing my roommate and I for $1800.00 and he was keeping our $500.00 deposit (so he was seeking reimbursement for a total of $2300.00). I immediately requested documentation to support that these damages were incurred and receipts to substantiate the amount of the supposed repairs. He never sent anything to me. I finally mailed a letter to the Housing Commission informing them of the fraudulant claim. He replied to the Housing Commission with a breakdown of the fees incurred (no receipts and no proof of damages), stating the following: $10.00 to clean bath, $10.00 to clean Kitchen, $30.00 to take out trash, $100.00 to rekey house (all house keys and garage door openers were left on counter), $1500.00 paint labor, $350.00 paint supplies, $200.00 broken tile in kitchen, $50.00 rekey mailbox (returned via certified mail). Aside from the obvious miscalculation (the above amounts only total $2250.00, not the $2300.00 he is pursuing), he also acknowledged in his response to the Housing Commission that he had all the keys and the total amount he is still pursuing is $1700.00. The Housing Commission has advised that if we are unable to mitigate the issues, we will have to settle it in small claims court. Initially, I was going to just let him keep my deposit to avoid the hastle, but I just received an email from him advising that if he does not receive payment for the balance of $1800.00 (even though he admits he is only pursuing $1700.00) within 5 days (May 15th) he will forward this "debt" to collections. Considering he has no proof and has yet to provide any of the requested documentation is this even legal? I have had no correspondence from him for over 4 months (since the Housing Commission got involved)... Why is he all of a sudden pursuing me? Also, should I just go ahead and take him to small claims court for my deposit? The only thing he can actually support is the chipped tile in the kitchen and I believe my roommate did not take his trash out. Also, he alleges that the entire house had to be repainted because we left "huge holes" in the walls and used the wrong paint. First of all, we covered all the holes with wall putty, none of which were "huge," they were from small nails used to hang paintings (which he provided because he wanted to avoid any damage to the walls). And we used the paint provided to us by the landlord to cover the wall putty and do touchups. Also, since both my roommate and I were on the lease, why am I the only one being sent to collections? Do you think this is just a scare tactic? I almost feel like he thinks I will just pay it because of this threat, however it seems like he is unwilling to pursue this in small claims court because he doesn't have a leg to stand on... I could really use some guidance on this!!!
Thank you!What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)?