Tenant Awarded Full Security Deposit Refund
LVT Number: #31482
Former tenant sued landlord in Suffolk County District small claims court, claiming that landlord improperly withheld her $2,400 security deposit. The court ruled for tenant. Landlord appealed and lost. In a small claims action, review is limited to a determination of whether "substantial justice" has been done between the parties according to the rules and principles of substantive law. And a trial court is in the best position to evaluate witness credibility. Since landlord failed to prove his claim that tenant caused damage beyond normal wear and tear, the lower court's decision provided substantial justice to the parties.
Yafei Li v. Dao Ying Gao: Index No. 2019-1278, 2021 NY Slip Op 50478 (App. T. 2 Dept.; 5/20/21; Emerson, JP, Garguilo, Voutsinas, JJ)