What to do if I was not refunded my full security deposit back after a satisfactory final walk-through?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What to do if I was not refunded my full security deposit back after a satisfactory final walk-through?

My landlord gave me a postdated check for the deposit of the room that I rented after full inspection of it. He also rented my room to another person sooner than the time my lease ends, so I asked him to refund me the rent I paid for the days he rented the room to other person. His girlfriend agreed in an email to pay me if the new roommate finalized the deal with them. After 2 days, he himself emailed me that he needs to do a carpet cleaning of my room, so he canceled my check and charged me $250 to clean up the carpet of a single room. This was done after my evacuation and inspection of the room. After I asked him to refund my rent money. What can I do? Can I file a small claim?

Asked on November 20, 2012 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

As a general rule, a landlord cannot charge a tenant for routine clean-up or maintenance; this includes having to clean a carpet due to normal wear and tear. A tenant is only responsible for the cost of repairs or replacements incurred by damage that they (or their family, pets and guests) have caused. An exception would be if the terms of their lease provided that they would pay for carpet cleaning, etc; in this event such a term would be legal and enforceable.

The fact is that you can be charged after a walk-through (unless there was an agreement to the contrary). However, since nothing was mentioned about the carpet at that time, you have a good argument to present a judge if you wish to pursue legal action to get your full security deposit refunded.


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