I be charged for a maintenance fix?

UPDATED: May 25, 2011

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I be charged for a maintenance fix?

I am moving out from apartment. About 1 year ago my kitchen counter-top seemed to be sinking down so I told the manager and they tried change the counter top and the bottom floor at the same time. It was winter so I asked her about dust because my husband had alley issue. Manager said it’ll make a lot of dust so she would postpone the repair. She said that if we move out they need to replace them anyway I said OK so if I okay and felt that I wouldn’t have to worry about a charge for this when I move out. In fact I confirmed this several times with manager. However they try to charge are now trying to charge me for that. Can they?

Asked on May 25, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Washington


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

A tenant may only be charged to repair damage caused by the tenant--not for damage due to normal wear-and-tear. So if you (or your family, guests, etc.) did not do anything which caused the counter top to sink, you should not be liable for any cost to repair or replace. Thus, if the counterop, etc. needed to be replaced anyway, then it should not be your cost.

In addition, people and businesses have to honor agreements that they made. Therefore, if there was an agreement that you would not have to pay for this work, they have to honor that agreement and not charge you. Therefore, it seems as if, based on what you write, that you should not have to pay. All that said, if the landlord does try to collect and sues you (or refuses to return your security deposit), you will end up in court to make your case.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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