Small Claims Court Victory

A couple of days ago, I took a former landlord to small claims court, and won my case. I’m happy with the result, and my wife is just ecstatic!

We’d rented a small place for my eldest daughter and grandson, and at the end of the lease the landlord kept the entire security deposit. When pressed for why an itemized list of repairs with pretty substantial markups over what things actuslly cost was sent ($35 for an interior doorknob, and $15 to install the same knob, that sort of thing).

So, we had our day in court. The judge listened to my opening presentation, which took about a minute, then spent 20 minutes with the landlord, asking very many questions about prices, justifications, etc. A calculator and scratch pad were employed. It was obviously not going well for the landlord, when his wife asked to be heard, and started reading paragraphs of the rental agreement to the judge.

This woman is either oblivious or completely tone-deaf to body language. The judge started to clean his glasses lens with a kleenex, and the longer she spoke the harder he scrubbed those lenses. After literally 2 minutes of lens torture he finally stopped her, and gave his decision: I got about 2/3 of my deposit back, which was fair, and was really all I had wanted.

My wife has been very unhappy about being ripped off, and is the happiest about the verdict. Now to see if we actually get paid.