Is it legal for my landlord to charge his tenants for the time he took making phone calls out of our deposit?

15 Days after moving our landlord sent us an invoice for the damages that he repaired with our deposit. Some seemed normal, like a damaged window. But others didn’t seem legal. He charged us 30 dollars an hour for his time and said he estimated 10 hours of his time, thus 300 dollars out of our deposit. He also charged us 500 dollars because he said he could not rent the house for a week because he had to have any damages repaired. Couldn’t he have taken care of this before we left. He ended up renting the house 22 days after we left so the repairs didn’t affect anything. Is this legal?

Asked on June 10, 2009 under Real Estate Law, Wyoming

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Security deposits are normally to be used for damages to the apartment other than normal wear and tear.   It sounds as if you had a hefty deposit and that he took out money that does not qualify here.   You may want to find a tenants rights association that can give you some free advice locally and take him to small claims court, which will hear a case valued at $5000 or less.  You at least will be able to ge before someone who can help negotiate the bill.  Bring any pictures you may have taken upon leaving the apartment, your lease, and anything signed by you/landlord as to damage, etc.  


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