What can I do about move-out charges that my old landlord claims that I still owe?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What can I do about move-out charges that my old landlord claims that I still owe?

I lived in an apt for 8 months and knew it was temporary so never put anything on the walls to mark them, we did not smoke or have animals so the carpet was fine. I cleaned but assumed my non-refundable deposit would cover anything extra. They sent me a bill for $348 for paint and carpet repair. I sent them a letter disputing the charges and asked for an itemized bill. I never heard back from them. Now, 1 1/2 years later, they are blocking me from renting a house saying I still owe them this money. What can I do?

Asked on August 17, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Washington

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Was it a security deposit? And it was deemed non-refundable?  Under Washington Law non-refundable deposits are permitted, which I think stinks. Generally, normal wear and tear of an apartment at the end of the tenancy does not warrant the use of a security deposit to fix an apartment.  What tenants fail to do when they move out is a walk through with the landlord to insure that the apartment is left "broom clean" and to take pictures and have the landlord sign an exit agreement of some sort stating that the apartment is left to their satisfaction absent normal wear and tear.  In Washington State a landlord has to return a security deposit within 14 days or send a written explanation as to why it was not refunded.  If not the they have to refund the deposit in its entirety.  I would send them a letter indicating to them that they have violated the law as it related to security deposits and now they are violating your rights in blocking your ability to rent another apartment with false and misleading information.  That if they continue to do so that you will sue them for the entire deposit - even if it was deemed non-refundable - on principles of equity and law and seek legal fees.  Then seek legal help.  Good luck.


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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption