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Ut5650Mtn

Security Deposit

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I moved into a rental home in Utah August 2013.  When I moved in the landlord informed me of (2) cracks in the master bathroom tub.  He indicated to me he would come by in about a month to check and make sure it didn't need to be repaired again.  He came a put a clear coat epoxy over the (2) cracks.  A few months later (via a text message)  I told him that the epoxy had peeled off and it need to be repaired again.  Several month went by and still no repair.  I informed him again (via a text message) that it needed to be repaired.  He told me to shower in the other shower, I let him know that there are (3) kids and myself living in the home and sharing one bathroom makes it hard in the morning, that if he could just come and repair it.  After cleaning the tub one day I noticed a water spot and sheet rock on my garage floor (the master bath was above the garage).  I told him it was leaking into the garage and that he needs to really fix it to avoid any other damages.  He once again said he would be down.  After waiting once again I had it repaired by a friend who but a JB Weld over the (2) cracks to prevent any additional damage.

 

I let him know that I repaired it (I didn't ask for reimbursement) he expressed his gratitude and that was it.

 

Now that I have moved out he is refusing to give me back my security deposit because of the damage that I did to the tub in repairing it.  I let him know that he could/should have repaired it anytime and that I prevented further damage to his property.  I have had no luck in convincing him to return my deposit.

 

I would be thankful of any suggesting that anyone has.  

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My suggestion is to sue him for the deposit in small claims after sending him a dispute letter.  He put epoxy seal on it and you evidently an epoxy product on it.  You don't say what damages you supposedly did, but if he's replaced the tub and in effect charging that cost against you, I'm sure you have an argument that he's simply attempting to renovate on your dime or put in a tub without cracks that he won't need to keep repairing over time.  (Given how little it costs for "JB weld" epoxy stuff, the topic of reimbursement shouldn't even factor into an equation.  I'd prob'ly have duck-taped the suckers, but ...)

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Hi there,

 

So there was no additional damage to the tub from your friend's repairs? Fallen makes a good point that he may just be trying to get you to cover the cost of a new tub (or to have a professional fix it). If you decide to sue in small claims court, you may want to read FindLaw's blog article, How to Sue Someone in Small Claims Court, for information on how to prepare and what to expect when you get to court. And it may end up being helpful that you have multiple texts requesting he make the repairs (check out Legal How-To: Using Text Messages as Evidence). Good luck!

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No additional damages were done to the tub.

 

His biggest complaint is that I did it myself and didn't use a professional.  He also stated that he wasn't going to charge me for the additional damage due to the water leaking through the floor.

 

I am still wondering how this was my fault to begin with?

 

 

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His argument doesn't really hold water.  According to you, he didn't use a professional.  :)  I don't know why you're wondering why it's your fault under the fact pattern relayed.  Acting as though he's doing you favor not charging you for damage related to a situation he ignored is pretty funny.

 

Even if you didn't keep or have access to the text messages, chances are the court will believe you when you tell your story and also bring in phone bills to establish that you communicated to the dolt on X occasions.  He may argue you were texting him about something else, but ... I don't see the weight of the evidence in his favor.  If you had any contemporaneous conversations with third parties about the issues at the time they occurred, bring them to court as well if possible (or get an affidavit about discussions; small claims court is pretty informal).

Before suing, I'd send him a letter of your intention to do so and that you'll pursue any civil $$ penalty in the law for wrongful withholding of the deposit (often two or three times the amount wrongfully withheld, though Utah may or may not have such a law).  I'd ensure that you send the letter two ways: the original via traceable means (whether that's certified mail or other) and another copy by plain old snail mail.

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