When ‘carelessness’ justifies lease termination

Rent it Right
Published on Aug 26, 2011

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by CareyBot

Q: Our landlord deducted several hundred dollars from our security deposit after he saw the damage that resulted when we left a window open during a rainstorm (the rain damaged a hardwood floor and soaked a wall). We replenished the deposit as asked -- then he gave us a termination notice! Can he do that? --Wes V.

A: I can understand your consternation over what's happened. You made a mistake, paid for it, and promptly topped off the security deposit. But then you were given the boot.

If you have a lease (as opposed to a monthly rental agreement), the landlord can terminate midlease only for an allowable reason, and not for discriminatory or retaliatory reasons.

Now, it seems you have been somewhat careless with the property, resulting in