posted on Nov, 17 2011 @ 12:32 PM
This whole thing begs for documentation, including pictures. The party with the best documentation will win this one. You can bet that the company
will have the documentation showing their repairs. The thing is, they don't have a "home handyman" mindset. They likely hired a professional and
expensive electrician to fix a socket that you or I would have purchased at Home Depot and installed ourselves.
The places where you may win points are things like the repaint. Unless you've been playing paintball in the house you certainly should not have to
pay for a repaint even if they did it and documented it. Sounds like you are on the right track with your research there.
But there are some negatives you will have to concede and deal with. First, you admit to leaving the house with damage. If you had sanded and painted
the door yourself, you wouldn't be faced with their ability to hold up a piece of paper detailing the fix and saying, "See? This is what we had to
put up with!" You could have replaced the light socket yourself. And though you plugged up your nail holes, look at it from the landlord's point of
view. They are faced with a wall pockmarked with little dots of spackle all over them. "We had no choice but to repaint because the walls looked
terrible and there was no touch-up paint!"
And there are your animals. At least two dogs and at least one cat. I've had 4 cats and a dog at once, so I know the kind of damage they can do. Even
if they are "trained" they have accidents and after awhile you won't even know because your nose gets used to the ambient smells. Take a blacklight
and move it around your carpet and you will be amazed. My dog cuts corners and rubs against the wall leaving dirt up to his full height. There's
another case for repainting.
Look, I'm not trying to anger you or blame you. I'm just trying to alert you to what you'll be facing, what the other party is going to be
presenting to counter your claim here. They are going to be standing up and saying this:
"Your Honor, this guy lived three years in this 700 square foot house with several dogs and cats running wild inside. We had to seal the floors
against the terrible urine smell. He left broken doors, broken screens, even a broken light socket. He left the house in a mess and we had to clean it
up. It took a good long while to get competent repairmen in to do the work, and meanwhile the house sat empty and unrented. Yeah, we did use the
majority of his deposit. We needed to, and we even gave some of it back. But this is a renter from Hell. He should pay court costs here, not us! Given
that the house was unrented while we fixed it, we've already lost money."
I think your way out here is if they did anything procedurally incorrect. You didn't get that walkthrough? That's one big thing. If they in any way
violated any provisions of the California landlord-tenant act, you could nail them on that, too. But given what you've done, engaging in a "he said,
she said" argument over the extent of the damages is probably not going to work.
A lot of people will get on here and commiserate with you and say, "You go, brother! Get those capitalist pigs!" and that's exactly what you do not
need. That's not how it works and that's not helpful. I hope I have provided a realistic scenario here for how this might play out and also given
you some tips on how to counter some of the issues. Good luck. Tell us how it turns out.