By Mark Zinman | Zona Law
Question: A resident moved out and I sent the accounting within fourteen (14) business days as required by law. However, after that was done, I found that the resident’s pet had not only damaged the carpet, but also the pad under the carpet and baseboards. Can I amend the deposit accounting?
Answer: The law says that the resident is liable for any and all damage to the unit, less reasonable wear and tear. The law requires you to complete and send an accounting of the damages within fourteen (14) business days, but it is silent about what to do if you find additional damages not included in the original accounting. While the law is silent, that doesn’t mean you can’t charge the tenant for the full amount, it just means the law doesn’t provide a procedure to do so. Therefore, how it would be handled may vary by the judge, but you can argue that the tenant is liable for all damage, regardless of when it is found. You may just need to explain why it was not initially found, which should be easy when it comes to the carpet pad. We suggest sending out the initial accounting timely, then an updated accounting when all bills are in and all damage is accounted for. This shows compliance with the statute as well as a finalized bill.