We were recently taken to small claims court by our former tenants for their full deposit back. We had proof of obvious damage to many areas of our house but because we made a verbal agreement to end the lease one month early, the judge said that since the tenants gave us the keys on the third of December, we had thirty days from that day to give them a report on the property. We followed the lease agreement which ended on the thirty-first of December which stated that we did not have to give a report on the property till the fourth of January. Since we waited till the fourth, the Judge said we had to give all the money to the tenants. Is a verbal agreement more binding than a lease agreement? Do we have a case to appeal?