Claim for Reimbursement of Court Award to Landlord

B-199451: Oct 7, 1980

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Shirley Jones
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A former Army member requested reconsideration of a claim denied by the Claims Division. The former member sought reimbursement of the moneys awarded to his landlord by a German court for alleged property damages, court costs, and attorney's fees. Upon his arrival in Germany, the member obtained non-Government quarters as a residence until Government quarters became available. Pursuant to an agreement between the landlord and the member, the landlord retained the damage deposit to cover the rent for the month after the rental quarters were vacated. The landlord inspected the apartment, listed various items which were damaged or missing for which he expected reimbursement, and subsequently sued the member for damages. The claim was initially denied on the basis that GAO was not aware of any statute or regulation which would authorize payment in the circumstances described. After examining the information available, GAO concluded that the lease agreement and deposit made by the member could only be considered a contractual agreement between two private parties; any remedies available to him would have to be on the basis of that contract. Accordingly, the prior decision was sustained.