Can we sue for return of our full deposit, including fees, that are over the price of rent?

We had a pet and was charged a monthly pet fee of $50. In my state, from what I have read, according to law any fees over the rent is “security deposit”. If we take this to court, can we include pet fee as part of the security deposit? The management company told me over the phone, we were paying for the “the privileged of having a pet”. They took out money from our deposit to replace a carpet that had normal wear and tear for a 2 person occupancy and a pet.

Asked on August 1, 2012 under Real Estate Law, New Hampshire

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If the monthly pet fee of $50.00 was spelled out in the lease you had, then such fee was legal since it was specifically set forth in the lease.

Such fees are customarily in leases when one has a pet in a rental. As to the carpet charge, you may have a basis for contesting the charge for a brand new carpet if its replacement was occasioned by normal wear and tear. A landlord should not be allowed to charge a tenant for brand new carpet when the carpet upon beginning of the lease was not brand new. Your recourse seems to be in the small claims court forum.


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