Can my landlord charge me $900 for a carpet?

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Can my landlord charge me $900 for a carpet?

I lived in the apartment a total of 2 years. My husband, son and I moved out and I was unable to do the walk-through because I was out of town. We did not destroy the carpet it can be cleaned. We just didn’t have to money to do so because we were moving into a new home and needless to say it wasn’t cheap. But I never expected them to try to charge that much. They say they depreciated the cost.

Asked on August 19, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Alabama

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Legally only damage caused by the tenant can be charged for; a tenant cannot be charged for normal wear and tear.  You to let your landlord know that you disagree with him and that you're willing to let a judge sort it if necessary.  Your landlord will then have to follow a sometimes complicated process to drag you into court.  Additionally, as part of this process your landlord will have to provide you with an accounting of your deposit. 

Bottom line, stand up for yourself.  Be polite, but let the landlord know you'll fight him if he tries to charge you for a carpet that is already worn.  Your chances of winning are good since most judges are tenant-friendly.  if it does in fact get as far as going to court, bring whatever evidence you have of the carpets condition upon your moving in and upon your moving out.  For example photos, witnesses, etc. 


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