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Old 11-18-2018, 01:20 PM
 
6 posts, read 1,272 times
Reputation: 12

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My family - 2 adults and one 6-year old- sold our house in Texas and moved to Blue Bell, Pennsylvania, a small town north of Philadelphia at the end of July 2017. We rented a 2 bedroom apartment at a rental of $1750/month. We paid $1630 security deposit and first month rental when signing the contract.

We bought a house and moved out in mid of Oct 2018. So we stayed in the apartment for 15 months. Used to be a home owner, we took good care of the apartment. We hired a cleaning company that did the move-in cleaning for our newly purchased house and completed a whole apartment move-out cleaning. The staff from the cleaning company even commented that we took a good care of the apartment.

Today, I received the move-out charges from the apartment management, which are outrageous.

Kitchen - replacing countertop due to burn marks $1931.00
Excessive Stains on carpet $250.00
Pink stain on Vinyl floor in front of Stove $100.00
Stain sealer on hall bathroom & kitchen walls $30.00
full clean $180.20
administrative fee for services performed $45.00

The total is $2536.20. While the apartment keeps all our security deposit $1630.00, they further charge us another $906.20 in the letter I just received.

Here are what some of the items really are:
1. We did accidentally leave 3-4 small burn marks (size is about 1/2-1/3 of a finger nail) on the laminate countertop in the kitchen. Otherwise, the countertop is perfectly good. Yet, they charge us $1931.00.
2. The so called 'excess stains' are those traffic marks on the carpet near kitchen and bathrooms. I believe a professional carpet cleaning would do the job, which they apparently charged us $250.00.
3. The pink stain on the Vinyl floor is left by a mat, which is very very light. It should be cleaned if soaked in bleach for a while as suggested by the cleaner we hired. Yet, with the moving out and moving in, we didn't have time to treat it and thought a small charge from the apartment for it is fine. However, apparently, it is a $100 charge.

It is worth noting that the apartment management sent 4 people to do the walk through with my husband at the end of Oct and took pictures. My husband describes it as they would use magnifying glasses if they could. Before we bought our first house in Texas, we rent an apartment in Bensalem, PA (a small town east of Philadelphia) and later an apartment in San Antonio, Texas. Both times the apartment managements were very reasonable, fair and considerate. Since our good experience, it never occurred to us to take pictures and be prepared for such ridiculous charges.

We're going to call the management company of the apartment tomorrow and negotiate a charge of following:

Kitchen - burn marks on countertop $200.00
Excessive Stains on carpet $250.00
Pink stain on Vinyl floor in front of Stove $100.00
Others $50.00
Total $600.00

Apparently, the apartment management is trying to ruin holidays of their moved out tenants.

I'm writing here to ask for advice! Thanks!
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Old 11-18-2018, 09:03 PM
 
Location: Dude...., I'm right here
1,050 posts, read 601,868 times
Reputation: 529
It looks like the professional cleaning company you hired did not do a thorough job and another cleaning company has to re-do the job.

Speaking as a LL, you should fix the burn marks on the counter-top. In short, either you get someone to remedy the issues or pay the management company to do the same.
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Old 11-19-2018, 10:09 PM
 
1,074 posts, read 1,809,257 times
Reputation: 373
It sounds like you acknowledge that you did all the damage, so it really comes down to whether or not it was ordinary wear and tear. If you can get them to agree to limit the charge to the security deposit, I'd be happy with that.
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Old 11-21-2018, 09:11 AM
 
912 posts, read 1,065,915 times
Reputation: 324
Even though it seems outrageous to you, from a management perspective, it is "outrageous" for them that you couldn't return the place back to how it started when you moved in- when the time for you to move out came up. Your own situations and factors, even if you couldn't stop them from dealing with them all at once at the time you were moving out or could've cleaned the place up properly otherwise, is unfortunately on you.
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Old 11-22-2018, 01:42 PM
 
3,177 posts, read 2,680,803 times
Reputation: 3047
These types of excessive charges are a common practice among landlords. Write the management with a demand for the return of the entire security deposit (send by certified mail-return receipt requested) within 30 days as required by PA law. Don't include anything else in your letter. If they don't return your full security deposit, file a complaint with the local "Magisterial District Court," asking for double the security deposit as a state sanctioned penalty. You don't need an attorney.
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Old Yesterday, 05:35 PM
 
Location: Dude...., I'm right here
1,050 posts, read 601,868 times
Reputation: 529
Once again someone is offering terrible advice. By law, they are supposed to give you back either
- your deposit
- balance of your deposit plus statement of any works done
- statement of works plus invoice for works done costing more than the deposit

In this case they probably got a statement plus invoice of the extra charges. Sending a certified letter demanding your deposit back has been superseded by the events and is a waste of your time.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Wells5 View Post
These types of excessive charges are a common practice among landlords. Write the management with a demand for the return of the entire security deposit (send by certified mail-return receipt requested) within 30 days as required by PA law. Don't include anything else in your letter. If they don't return your full security deposit, file a complaint with the local "Magisterial District Court," asking for double the security deposit as a state sanctioned penalty. You don't need an attorney.
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Old Today, 12:46 PM
 
3,177 posts, read 2,680,803 times
Reputation: 3047
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1ondoner View Post
Once again someone is offering terrible advice. By law, they are supposed to give you back either
- your deposit
- balance of your deposit plus statement of any works done
- statement of works plus invoice for works done costing more than the deposit

In this case they probably got a statement plus invoice of the extra charges. Sending a certified letter demanding your deposit back has been superseded by the events and is a waste of your time.

The courts exist to adjudicate disputes. If the OP doesn't fight these outrageous charges in court, the management company will have gotten away with what amounts to theft. I have taken LLs to court in several jurisdictions when I thought that they were acting in bad faith. If more people would exercise their rights, LLs would think twice about committing security deposit fraud.
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Old Today, 01:54 PM
 
Location: Dude...., I'm right here
1,050 posts, read 601,868 times
Reputation: 529
The easier optionwould have been to return the apartment in the condition that she found it. Other than the burn marks it could have been easier to get the apartment cleaned up in the first place. With several infractions, it exacerbates the damage

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wells5 View Post
The courts exist to adjudicate disputes. If the OP doesn't fight these outrageous charges in court, the management company will have gotten away with what amounts to theft. I have taken LLs to court in several jurisdictions when I thought that they were acting in bad faith. If more people would exercise their rights, LLs would think twice about committing security deposit fraud.
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