Problems with getting security deposit
This is a discussion on Problems with getting security deposit within the Landlord vs Tenant Issues forum, part of the REAL ESTATE & PROPERTY LAW category; Hi, I rented for 6 1/2 years and recently had an early termination of my lease. I had the apartment ...
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|May 20th, 2012, 02:53 PM||#1|
Join Date: May 2012
Problems with getting security deposit
I rented for 6 1/2 years and recently had an early termination of my lease. I had the apartment cleaned, the carpet cleaned, and unfortunately was not at the walk through with my landlord; I had left 3 messages on his cell phone to confirm the time, asking that it be at 10:30 am on April 23. I called the landlord's son at 9 am on the 23rd, as I had not heard back from my landlord, and the son said that they were at the apartment and that 'I didn't need to be there.' I said I had planned on being there and would they wait for me, and they said that they had things to do, and that 'they had to bring people in.' I tried to get clarification about any problems that I would have happily remedied, but he kind of blew me off and said he would get back to me. He did not, and after several calls to his father and an email, I was told that the father's cell phone dropped messages, and that they had hired a cleaning service and a carpet cleaning service. I kept trying to get information, and they informed me that there was a cat urine odor in the apartment. My security deposit was 1300. and the pet deposit was 600. They presented a list of the deductions from the 1900. Here is the breakdown of their charges:
Please review the breakdown of charges listed below;
INITIAL RENT DEPOSIT $1300.00
Pet Deposit $600
Carpet Cleaning $55.00
Grout cleaning $170.00= $1256.00
Security deposit on hand $1900.00
Security deposit to be returned $900.00
I contested this letter (this original letter was not sent certified mail, but after I sent a certified letter contesting this, saying that I felt that witholding 300. would be fair, as the rest was wear and tear; they sent a certified letter, without the breakdown, but stating that they were returning $900 to me). I don't know if the fact that the original letter with the breakdown was not sent to me certified mail is a violation of my rights as a tenant, although the last letter they sent, without any detail of charges (with a check for 900.) was sent certified mail.
They hired a cleaning service after I had already done so, claiming that there was cat hair on the blinds and some food in the refrigerator-- yet I walked through prior to their walk through and saw none of this. They did not notify me and allow me to take what would have been 15 minutes to remedy any problems, but instead, spent my security deposit money on a cleaning service and a carpet cleaning service.
After a cordial relationship of 6 1/2 years, and my explicit statements that I wanted to remedy anything I could, so that I could get my security deposit back; their lack of communication with me was very disappointing.
They also recarpeted the two bedrooms. I understood doing one, (the one that my cats were in) although after 6 1/2 years, could that be considered wear and tear? There were no visible pet stains after the cleaning. The cats were never in the second bedroom and there was no cat smell; yet they claimed that there was.
I don't know what to do at this point-- they indicated in another letter that the master bathroom needed repainting and grout cleaning, I believe for what they claimed was the cat urine smell, but if my pet deposit was $600., how can they be taking $1000. off?
After receiving the letter from my landlord, I left voicemail messages on both of his answering machines, stating that I wished to discuss this, but he has not responded. He just sent the check.
Here is a short part of the letter I sent to them:
After living in the apartment from September, 2006 to April, 2012, six and a half years, it is assumed, by any reasonable standards, that there would be normal ‘wear and tear’ on the paint, carpet and apartment.
Rent paid is to include ‘normal wear and tear,’ and according to our lease, ‘normal wear and tear’ is not considered damage. The fact remains that it is more than reasonable to assume that, after six and a half years, that any new tenant would rightfully request a brand new paint job and new carpeting, under any circumstances.......
They replied saying that this was not wear and tear, it was remedial in nature, and that the urine smell was damage. They said that after the carpet and pad was changed, that the urine smell was greatly diminished, but that there still was a smell, thus they needed to repaint and clean the grout in the master bathroom.
Any advice on this complicated situation would be appreciated. Is it a waste of time to try to take them to court-- what are my options?
|May 20th, 2012, 03:26 PM||#2|
Top Level Member
Join Date: Dec 2009
Re: Problems with getting security deposit
I wish to inform you that you can give a written demand of security deposit. In your demand you can demand copy of invoices, bills etc evidence that landlord has suffered such a loss. Further for instances like carpet cleaning which have occurred after you have left you may demand evidence in the form of photos etc that when you have left at that time there was such a thing. If landlord refuses to pay security deposit or provide evidence then you can file a lawsuit.
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