Is my landlord obligated to give me receipts for cleaning and or repairs?

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Is my landlord obligated to give me receipts for cleaning and or repairs?

I recently moved out of an apartment. On the last day, the landlord could return my deposit. I received an email stating that we owed for multiple cleaning charges and repairs. The email was accompanied with a list of typical cleaning charges and repair charges but they were average costs not actual receipts. I contacted the landlord and she said they use this list for the charges and would not release actual receipts. Is

this correct or is she obligated to show evidence of the actual charges not just charges from an average of the costs?

Asked on December 9, 2016 under Real Estate Law, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

The landlord is obligated to show you the actual receipts, because you are *not* liable for the "average" costs--only for the specific costs you caused. Furtherrmore, a landlord cannot recover the cost of ordinary end-of-tenancy cleaning, or for repairs or maintenance due to ordinary "wear and tear"--that's simply part of being a landlord, and is a cost of doing business. You are only liable for costs that exceed normal wear and tear: e.g. holes in walls; red wine stains on carpet, pet urine stains, or if your children drew on the walls; windows you, your family, or guests broke; etc. But if the unit needs to be repainted because it was last painted 10 years ago, or the sinks are dripping from regular use and a plumber is necessary, or the floors are scuffed from people walking on them, that is the landlord's cost, not yours.
If ou belieive that the landlord is charging you for things you are not liable for because they are normal wear and tear, or is overcharging you costs you would have to pay (i.e. charging you more than the actual cost to make the repair) and is therefore wrongfully withholding part or all of your security deposit, you could sue the landlord (such as in small claims court, acting as your own attorney, or "pro se," to save on legal fees) for the return of your deposit. In the course of that litigation, the landlord will have to prove the type, amount, source, and cost of the damage, and if he can't justify it, you can get money back.


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