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Old 05-30-2013, 03:32 PM
 
1 posts, read 1,725 times
Reputation: 10

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My landlord is trying to withhold my security deposit ($775.00)

My boyfriend and I signed the lease beginning June 1, 2012. We paid a $400.00 non-refundable pet deposit and a refundable $775.00 deposit on the apartment. I moved out in the beginning of August along with the dogs. The landlord agreed to allow the new roommate to move in, under the agreement that he and my boyfriend signed a new lease with their names on it ending May 31st, 2013. (It was basically the same lease, with our initial deposit, just with my name removed, and another name added.) Before he allowed them to sign the new lease, he required my boyfriend and I to pay out of pocket for a tear in the carpet (the dogs did it) ($100.00), which we did just to get a move on with the whole process and to avoid any complications with the landlord. Though I did question the landlord asking him "Aren't small damages like this supposed to be covered by our pet deposit?" I mean, what else could the extra $400.00 be for... Anyways, the lease is now coming to an end. I have not lived there since August 2012, and my boyfriend has not lived there for the past three months though he has been paying the rent every month, on time, in full, instead of ending the lease early. (Most of his stuff was still there--bed, TV, etc. up until this week since the lease officially ends tomorrow.)

Since the end of April/early May both my boyfriend and his roommate started hearing from the landlord telling them he would be doing walk throughs with possible future tenants looking to lease the place. Though I was not there, he apparently brought over 9 people at a time to do a walk through in early may while the roommate was home. Of course he was not happy about some stains on the carpet, and how messy the apartment was. (The roommate who was actually living there at the time was MESSY!). He called my boyfriend to talk to him about the condition of the apartment, and Matt assured him that the apartment will be returned cleaned and with the carpets stain-free and steam cleaned. This past week we moved everything out, hired a cleaning company for the basic stuff (base-boards, oven, stove, fridge, bathroom, etc.) and a carpet cleaner who came and made the carpets look even BETTER than when we initially moved in.

I went there today to grab a few things left behind, and ran into the landlords mother who was unfriendly and greeted me with hostility. She had cleaning supplies with her and some paint to fix the place up. I was friendly and told her I was leaving Matt's key downstairs for her. I get home and get called my boyfriend to talk to him about it. He told me the landlord had left him a message saying we will be charged for any cleaning that needs to be done to the place. Keep in mind that the landlord sent his mother there to clean an ALREADY CLEAN apartment before the official lease term is even over. Am I seriously supposed to be charged for that? Is it even legal?

I guess what I'm getting at is the landlord is acting like we are not going to be seeing ANY of our $775.00 deposit back. GRANTED, there was some damage done while moving out (A small tear in the carpet, a chip in the wall, and a cracked window from moving an over sized couch down a narrow stair case :\ ) which we will take full responsibility for and expect repairs for that to be taken from our deposit. I just find it hard to believe that will cost $775.00 to fix those few things.

The last damage aside from usual wear and tear that was our fault, was a piece of linoleum in the kitchen pantry that our dogs chewed up while they were there. Though I cant imagine adding that to the other damages adding up to $775.00, isn't that what the $400.00 pet security deposit is for. I just think we are going to be SERIOUSLY ripped off if we see nothing at all back from an apartment we paid $1,175.00 in deposits on.
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Old 05-30-2013, 10:09 PM
 
22 posts, read 44,543 times
Reputation: 15
Yes it is legal to charge you for having to clean the place if need be, it's pretty normal actually. You may want to get the lease out you and your boyfriend signed its usually is in there.

The pet deposit is simply an extra cushion for the landlord just in case your animals cause more damage then what your initial deposit would cover (in your case 775). It's nonrefundable so whether your dog caused damage or not you will never see it back. In your case your animal did casue some damage and you are responsible for it, pet deposit or not.

Now if you add up the damages to the place you are renting I dont think the costs would be far from the 775. Having someone come out an replace a window can cost 200.00 or more depending on who replaces it. Also how bad is the rip in the carpet? Im not an expert but Im not sure how you would fix a rip in the carpet without replacing it although I may be wrong. But if the land lord tells you he's replacing the carpet because it's ripped your going to have to pay for it. Depending on the size of the room and the quality of the carpeting that could easily cost a few hundred dollars. If you add that on top of the window and the flooring that has to be replaced that the dog chewed up and the nick on the wall I dont think it would be unjustified from your landlord to keep your deposit unless you come out of pocket and pay for all the repairs yourself.

I know this was probability not the answer you were looking for. It can be hard to swallow when you were hoping to get the deposit back.

Best of luck to you.
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Old 05-31-2013, 12:04 AM
 
Location: Finally, home sweet home Orlando
511 posts, read 772,695 times
Reputation: 308
Landlords are always presumed right and this is a presumption that really needs to change as more and more many are becoming scum bags and slum lords and that past perception has been forgotten altogether as if there was never any need to regulate them so no laws ever required to protect tenants..

Many have you over a barrel and they know it so the best thing you can do is be very vigilant in signing leases and begin from day 1 case building just in case it comes down to it, take masses of jpegs (easier than ever before with digital cams), and make notes of everything and date line it, to do any less in this day and age, is foolish..

The ability for them to require personal things such as credit reports and other confidential info with little regulation is very troubling as there are many who are potential scammers and you have little personal protection from them. I just went through something similar myself where I put down a deposit for a rental to own property and the person turned out to be a scammer once he provided me with the leas info. I played hell getting back my $500 deposit for the house in the midst of having to deposit another house and thank god for the Internet it's an irreplaceable tool we have to aid in expediting & publicizing these matters and getting them into the public eye, which like cockroaches is a light scammers don't want to see.

JFYI one of the things I did to protect myself in the above mentioned action was to have my OWN receipt for the scumbag to sign and that made a massive diff as well as digesting a lot of info he gave me in our discussions as I was viewing the property, be an open book and like a sponge to absorb EVERYTHING you discuss let nothing be glossed over, pay attention, ask questions... All of this helped me to leverage him outside of court as he soon realized he was out-matched and relented but because he fought so hard for money he hadn't earned that was another red flag as most reputable people won't do that, he also tried EVERY trick to intimidate and procrastinate which is also a big red flag, don't be intimidated, be educated..

Last edited by HomesickFloridian; 05-31-2013 at 12:31 AM..
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Old 05-31-2013, 12:15 AM
 
Location: Finally, home sweet home Orlando
511 posts, read 772,695 times
Reputation: 308
Quote:
Originally Posted by Magic_Kingdom_Mama View Post
Yes it is legal to charge you for having to clean the place if need be, it's pretty normal actually. You may want to get the lease out you and your boyfriend signed its usually is in there.

The pet deposit is simply an extra cushion for the landlord just in case your animals cause more damage then what your initial deposit would cover (in your case 775). It's nonrefundable so whether your dog caused damage or not you will never see it back. In your case your animal did casue some damage and you are responsible for it, pet deposit or not.

Now if you add up the damages to the place you are renting I dont think the costs would be far from the 775. Having someone come out an replace a window can cost 200.00 or more depending on who replaces it. Also how bad is the rip in the carpet? Im not an expert but Im not sure how you would fix a rip in the carpet without replacing it although I may be wrong. But if the land lord tells you he's replacing the carpet because it's ripped your going to have to pay for it. Depending on the size of the room and the quality of the carpeting that could easily cost a few hundred dollars. If you add that on top of the window and the flooring that has to be replaced that the dog chewed up and the nick on the wall I dont think it would be unjustified from your landlord to keep your deposit unless you come out of pocket and pay for all the repairs yourself.

I know this was probability not the answer you were looking for. It can be hard to swallow when you were hoping to get the deposit back.

Best of luck to you.
And this is misleading as this is NOT a deposit, it is a fee and misrepresented as such.. "Deposits" are refundable as a rule based on no damage or minimal, manageable damage accordingly..

Depending on the pile, the carpet can be repaired at a reasonable cost with heat tape underneath and look like new with little or no visible difference..

An educated tenant can avoid a lot of these issues before they come up.."Educated" in this case means on ALL aspects of lease, tenant/landlord rights and reasonable maintenance and repair costs and procedures for repairs prior to singing anything.

Last edited by HomesickFloridian; 05-31-2013 at 12:32 AM..
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Old 05-31-2013, 12:41 PM
 
26,590 posts, read 57,249,344 times
Reputation: 13095
Quote:
Originally Posted by mnoon123 View Post
GRANTED, there was some damage done while moving out (A small tear in the carpet, a chip in the wall, and a cracked window from moving an over sized couch down a narrow stair case :\ ) which we will take full responsibility for and expect repairs for that to be taken from our deposit. I just find it hard to believe that will cost $775.00 to fix those few things.

The last damage aside from usual wear and tear that was our fault, was a piece of linoleum in the kitchen pantry that our dogs chewed up while they were there. Though I cant imagine adding that to the other damages adding up to $775.00, isn't that what the $400.00 pet security deposit is for. I just think we are going to be SERIOUSLY ripped off if we see nothing at all back from an apartment we paid $1,175.00 in deposits on.
You can't just fix a torn carpet, it needs to be replaced. Average cost to replace moderate grade carpet in a 10 x 10 room is about $350. The chip in the wall would vary from $25 to $200 to fix, depending on where it is and exactly what the damage is. The window could cost as little $30 or as much as $200 to fix, again depending on the type and exactly what the damage is. Linoleum also can't just be "fixed." it needs to be replaced. That's going to run $300 or more. Frankly it sounds like the place wasn't taken care of, was damaged and dirty, and you'll be lucky if all they do is keep your security and don't come after you for further damages--which they are in their rights to do.

They will have to provide an itemized list of all damages and the cost to cure. If you think they are too high you can try taking them to small claims court, but based on what you wrote, if I were the judge I'd toss you out of my courtroom. Damaging an apartment beyond normal wear and tear (and what you describe is in no way normal wear and tear) and keeping the place in a state of filth is not going to endear you to a judge.
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Old 05-31-2013, 11:23 PM
 
Location: Finally, home sweet home Orlando
511 posts, read 772,695 times
Reputation: 308
Nonsense, it depends widely on the damage, type and amount, more misinformation as usual.. I installed and repaired carpet along with many other skilled trades for years in my youth and well later into my life still do it on a regular basis..
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