Can my former landlord charge me for carpet replacment if they already signed off that it was fine and gave back my deposit?

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Can my former landlord charge me for carpet replacment if they already signed off that it was fine and gave back my deposit?

My apartment lease was up in 01/10 and the managment andIi did a walkthrough. They said that the apartment was good and they signed off that everything was fine. I got back my deposit and moved out. Now I recived a letter sent 07/28/10 stating that I owe them $1,196.62 for carpet replacment.

Asked on August 20, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The landlord is entitled to recover for damage to an apartment or other rental property caused by a tenant (though NOT for simple wear and tear). If subsequent to the walk through, certain damage has come to light requiring replacement, they could try to recover it from you and pursue a legal action if necessary. That doesn't mean you have to necessarily pay--you could refuse to, in which case they might sue you and you could then defend yourself. So if you do not believe that you caused damage requiring replacement, you could contest it and, at a minimum, request to see evidence/proof, estimates of the cost, etc. before deciding whether to pay or whether to keep fighting it. However, if you agree that you caused the damage, the sign off after the walk through is not likley to protect you and your are probably better off trying to work something out.

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You were smart to do a walk through and have documentation signed and copied to you showing what was signed off on and what was okay.  Further, the landlord cannot simply wait 8 months to send something to you.  Usually the most a state statute would allow would be 45 days tops.  The fact the landlord a) waited so long and b) is attempting to charge you for complete replacement of which they did not initially charge you is simply criminal.  Not only refuse in writing but also submit copies of the state statute and tell them you will also file a complaint with the attorney general so that you protect your interests.


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