Should my husband and I file for small claims? Posted on July 12, 2011

My husband and I are considering taking a former landlord to small claims court. We are somewhat familier with small claims court, but are aware that the landlord knows the court system well. We want to be sure we will win. Story is this. We (My husband, our 10 month old son, and I) decided to move to find a place to fit us better. We looked at a duplex in April. Upon opening the door, a large mixed breed dog greeted us. The windows were blocked by furniture and other things. The tenants living there at the time were clearly not taking care of the property. The landlord assured us that repairs and cleaning would be done. He also wrote into the lease that a dishwasher would be added and the rooms repainted and doors replaced due to damage left by last tenants. He demanded that rent taken directly through the bank account (direct withdrawl) and deposit paid upfront, which we agreed to. We were given keys a few days early. When we went to check it out upon receiving keys the residence was a wreck. It smelled horribly of urine and feces, several cabinets in the bathroom and kitchen were broken and disfunctional, the windows had fallen out of the frame, were very difficult to open and had holes around them, there was dog feces all over the yard, the railing in the kitchen that was above the stairwell was broken and torn from the wall, there were piles of yard clippings shoved under bushes, a huge pile of trash and things on the curb, stains on the carpet and walls from urination. The neighbor (of the other side of the duplex) happened to be out in the back yard when we walked through and informed us that painters had knocked on his door asking why his dog was next door. The neighbor informed the painters that he did not own a dog. The neighbor told us that he that the dog had been left at the residence for several days before being discovered by the painters. The tenants had moved out and left the dog behind without informing the landlord. We could not stay inside the du

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