Can a landlord deduct my deposit for items that were broken/ missing before I moved in?

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Can a landlord deduct my deposit for items that were broken/ missing before I moved in?

I have no proof that they were not there but neither does she that they were. She is charging us for things like window screens and $100 for a light fixture that was never there. What can I do?

Asked on August 8, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Virginia

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

No, of course she can not charge you for damage that you did not do but you are going to have to provide some proof that the apartment was in the condition that you state when you moved in.  Any pictures?  Any unbiased witnesses?  Otherwise it will be an issue of credability.  Good luck.


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