Can a landlord charge after a final inspection?

I rented a house for 2 years. We did not performed an initial inspection, but at the end of the lease we performed a pre-inspection 30 days before lease expiration and a final walk inspection. LL and I signed a document stating house was in order-not a checklist though. LL returned the deposit in 2 days. Now, 6 days after, he claims now there is a missing soap dispenser which I do not recall seeing. He demands $35. What should I do??I think I am not liable.

Asked on June 12, 2012 under Real Estate Law, New Jersey


MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Indicate he signed off on a final inspection and since there was no initial inspection at move in and you don't remember ever seeing a soap dispenser, you are not liable for the monies. The best thing to do if you fear he will sue you (which is worse in terms of time it will take to litigate), is just to pay the $35 or offer to buy a soap dispenser. But again, if you each signed documents and he returned the monies to you and you deposited them, he has extinguished his rights.

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