I be charged for a maintenance fix?

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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

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 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.


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