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Old 03-20-2013, 07:32 PM
 
Location: Charlotte
1 posts, read 4,941 times
Reputation: 10
Default Normal Wear & Tear

I have rented my apartment for 5-06 to 2-28-2013. TR Lawing is refusing to give me my $200 deposit and charging me for: 1. Air grill bent $50 2. Kitchen light $50 flourecent light needs to be screwed back in 3. bedroom window broken $200 ex-roommate (not on lease) broke it AFTER he did first inspection and I had turned over the keys. He changed the locks with her belongings still inside and he knew this. 4. Broken toilet paper holder & towel bar $100 5. Doorbell Damaged - $50 it STILL works but it buzz constantly in the closet where it is hooked up. 6. Carpet clean $150 - 7. Lock change $124.60. I already had a $10 lock on the counter that I had to take back.

Now mind you that nothing is broken and I have all of the holder, bar, light fixture on the counter and inthe bathroom. I asked Thad Gant to call me so that we can do a walk thru TOGETHER but he REFUSED and said that he doesn't do any walk thru/inspections with tenants.

I had to turn in my 30 days due to me helping a homeless person out and I could not get her evicted because the judge said that I do not own the property.

How can I fight this and get get my refund back?

Thanks
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Old 03-20-2013, 07:49 PM
 
3,418 posts, read 3,204,818 times
Reputation: 1454
Not sure what you mean with the homeless person comment...are you saying you had a homeless person living with you? Was that the ex-roommate you were referring to?


But anyway, the only legitimate charge I see there is the broken window, which conveniently is the same as your security deposit. I would definitely not pay anything in additional to your security deposit, and write a certified letter saying that everything else listed is considered normal wear and tear. But it's gonna be tough to get your security deposit back, and to be honest I'm not sure if $200 is worth going through all the trouble it might take.
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Old 03-20-2013, 08:05 PM
 
8,410 posts, read 8,493,859 times
Reputation: 6432
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deposit Back View Post
I have rented my apartment for 5-06 to 2-28-2013. TR Lawing is refusing to give me my $200 deposit and charging me for: 1. Air grill bent $50 2. Kitchen light $50 flourecent light needs to be screwed back in 3. bedroom window broken $200 ex-roommate (not on lease) broke it AFTER he did first inspection and I had turned over the keys. He changed the locks with her belongings still inside and he knew this. 4. Broken toilet paper holder & towel bar $100 5. Doorbell Damaged - $50 it STILL works but it buzz constantly in the closet where it is hooked up. 6. Carpet clean $150 - 7. Lock change $124.60. I already had a $10 lock on the counter that I had to take back.

Now mind you that nothing is broken and I have all of the holder, bar, light fixture on the counter and inthe bathroom. I asked Thad Gant to call me so that we can do a walk thru TOGETHER but he REFUSED and said that he doesn't do any walk thru/inspections with tenants.

I had to turn in my 30 days due to me helping a homeless person out and I could not get her evicted because the judge said that I do not own the property.

How can I fight this and get get my refund back?

Thanks
I lived in about 10 apartments, although the longest was only 4 years. I never paid for changing the locks, cleaning the carpet, or any other minor repairs. You need to check your lease to see if it is specific about any moving-out costs.

You should get your facts straight. First you say you broke two things, then you say nothing is broken. This homeless person seems irrelevant to the issue at hand. I've never left an apartment without doing a walk through, so that looks a bit hinky as well.
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Old 03-20-2013, 08:13 PM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC
2,296 posts, read 2,713,085 times
Reputation: 1788
If you changed the locks, youre on the hook for the change back. That charge is reasonable based on time and materials. Actually, I don't see anything there that is really out of line. Much of this could have been avoided had you made requests for maintenance, aside from the window.

You should always request a walkthrough before moving out and if it is refused send a certified letter asking for the walkthrough as a follow up. Then document everything in detail. You can be sure they have.
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Old 03-20-2013, 08:31 PM
 
3,418 posts, read 3,204,818 times
Reputation: 1454
Quote:
Originally Posted by spankys bbq View Post
If you changed the locks, youre on the hook for the change back. That charge is reasonable based on time and materials. Actually, I don't see anything there that is really out of line. Much of this could have been avoided had you made requests for maintenance, aside from the window.

You should always request a walkthrough before moving out and if it is refused send a certified letter asking for the walkthrough as a follow up. Then document everything in detail. You can be sure they have.
Agree if the OP changed the locks, but charging for carpet cleaning after 6.5 years in an apartment is certainly out of line. The toilet paper holder and towel bar should be like $25 bucks max, and that's a questionable charge to begin with especially if OP is saying they weren't actually broken. And kitchen lights shouldn't be the tenant's responsibility.
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Old 03-20-2013, 09:51 PM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC
2,296 posts, read 2,713,085 times
Reputation: 1788
I'll give you the carpet. But the towel bars can be some work. Its hard to find old designs and the mounting holes often do not line up with the old ones. This means sheetrock mud and paint And then mount the new. I have to assume something is broken when they are not on the wall but on the counter. Same goes for the light. Why is it on the counter?

Back on the walkthrough, I hate doing them with tenants. I will on request but I always go back afterwards. I've had too many walkthroughs where the tenant would try to be distracting so I would miss things. Or they would lie their butts off and tell me such and such was broken when they moved in. And it usually is an uncomfortable situation when you are telling people reasons why they aren't getting g their deposit back. Some get pretty heated. I've had one argue with me about getting a deposit back after I had evicted them for nonpayment of rent. The moron really thought he was going to get it back.
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Old 03-23-2013, 03:00 PM
 
Location: Lansing, MI
2,691 posts, read 3,349,741 times
Reputation: 2654
I would dispute this - mainly because of the refusal to walk thru with you. A tenant has the right to know what charges to expect, and has the right for a walk thru sheet to be signed off from the leaser. This protects the tenant for any damage done after the unit has been returned to the leaser. I was previously a property manager in MI, and my company encouraged the tenant to be present.

The window - if your roommate broke it and she was not on the lease, nor permitted to be there per the lease, you're on the hook despite it getting broken after you were out and the locks changed. The court would consider her as "your guest" on the property, and any damage your guests do, you are on the hook for. You pay out of pocket, then sue her for the expense if you can prove her negligence.

The carpet - check what state law says a carpet's lifespan is considered. Michigan's lifespan is 7 years. If the carpet was significantly stained or damaged at 6.5yrs, the leaser would have a hard time convincing the court to reimburse this fee due to it being at almost max state mandated age if this were in MI. The cleaning fee wasn't very high (I am unsure of how big the place was, so this is a relative charge based on size of unit and how much they put into the cleaning job), so I assume you left the carpet in reasonable condition.

Fixtures - Tenants are responsible for damage due to neglect, leaser is responsible for damage due to failure. If the light fixture, towel bar or doorbell all had mechanical failure or wear & tear because they were cheap pieces of junk, the landlord cannot hold the tenant responsible for this. The landlord can p**s and moan that you never informed them that maintenance was required, but they can't hold you responsible if mechanical failure is the problem.

Doorlock - was the lock they changed out the original lock, or is it one you installed? Was it damaged? If it was one they installed and undamaged, this again falls under property turn expenses that they cannot hold the tenant liable for. Most communities have several extra sets specifically for turning a unit and reuse them again and again.
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Old 03-23-2013, 11:04 PM
 
1,986 posts, read 1,358,047 times
Reputation: 2754
1. Air Grill. A bent grill is considered damages and always deductible from the security deposit unless that damage existed prior to you moving in.

2. Kitchen Light. This is not damages as nothing was damaged. However, the landlord may be able to deduct the cost of discovering it was only unscrewed. This depends on the specific wording of your state Landlord-Tenant regulations.

3. Broken window. If you had already terminated the lease and had returned possession to the landlord according to state Landlord-Tenant regulations and the lease, you are not liable for damages that occurred after properly returning possession to the landlord.

4. Broken bathroom fixtures. If the fixtures were not fastened to the walls/cabinets in the same manner as when you moved in, that is damages and the cost to reattach them is taken from the security deposit.

5. Doorbell issue. You are not liable for a doorbell that is broken through no fault of your own. However, unless you had notified the landlord according to the lease about the doorbell being broken, it's considered damages if not working properly on the day you surrender the unit with no prior notice to the landlord.

6. Carpet cleaning. This may be covered in greater detail in toy state Landlord-Tenant regulations as different states set different requirements on carpets, carpet cleaning, wear and tear vs. damages.

7. Lock change. As with other issues, your state regulations may specifically address this. They may allow a charge, they may allow it only if you fail to turn in all keys. They may prohibit it, or they may have set a standard fee and no more.

In your case the decision to fight or not fight the deductions are based on your personal desires to correct an injustice, or maybe because if you prevail you may be ahead of the game. Your state may set certain requirements such as
a) Return of deposit within X days of surrendering the unit.
b) Require along with an explanation, detail copies of actual charges and invoices/bills.
c) Required the landlord to conduct the walkthrough with you present if requested.

Often times if a landlord fails to abide by any of the provisions of state regulations, they may be barred from keeping any of the deposit. They may be required to pay you 2 or 3 times the security deposit. Something technical may be discovered as being illegal with the unit and as a result, you may be entitles to even more damages and refunds. BUT, you also have to weigh that with your admission that not all the charges are made up and some are legitimate. That may negate and ability to win anything substantial especially when factoring your cost to pursue it.
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Old 03-25-2013, 03:13 AM
 
Location: NY & Fl
10,962 posts, read 7,558,525 times
Reputation: 8939
If bath and lighting fixtures were properly installed (into studs) it would take some force to pull them out and would leave holes that couldn't be reused without patching, therefore would cost more.
We have no idea how bad the carpet was.
Add in the grille and window and if all you are being charged is the amount of your deposit, I'd say you might be lucky.
There's just a little hint that the whole story isn't being told.
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Old 03-25-2013, 09:51 AM
 
7,935 posts, read 6,006,503 times
Reputation: 10933
None of that is considered to be normal wear and tear, except possibly the doorbell. Since OP ripped just about everything in the apartment off of the walls, it is possible that the doorbell was also damaged.

Dirt is not normal wear and tear. Tenants are expected to take their dirt back out with them when they move, so carpet cleaning is a legitimate expense. With all the things torn off the wall, I suspect that there was a lot of dirt in the carpet. OP has not been kind to that unit.

I also think that OP owes for the window. It was broken by OP's guest. OP can try to get reimbursed from the guest who broke the window, but in the meantime OP owes the landlord for the window.
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