Can my landlord charge me for things he never disclosed that he would charge me for?

I moved out of my residence 2 months ago, and just finally got a letter in the mail saying that me and my roommates will not be getting our deposits back due to a variety of expenses they are charging us for. $1000 for general cleaning, $400 for dumping garbage (our landlord offered to get rid of it for us and never said he was gonna charge for it), $1600 for frozen water line repair due to us turning off the heat in the winter (This was 3 years ago, and never once did he say we would pay for it. The damage was our fault though.) Also, in the letter 0 receipts were attached proving the costs.

Asked on July 26, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Minnesota


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You can be charged for any damage you (or friends, pets, guests, family, etc.) caused to the property. So, for example, even if the landlord did not previously say you wold be charged for water pipes (and you did not previuosly offer to pay for them), if they were your fault--which you admit--you could be charged for them.

You may not be charged for general cleaning, unless you left the home in very bad shape--much dirtier or more cluttered/littered than "normal wear and tear" would indicate. If the landlord had to get a dumpster or pay to dump garbage, he could probably charge you the actual cost therefore, even if he had not previously stated he would. From what you write, you would be reponsible for some, possibly  most (or even all) of the costs.

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