What to do if you are being charged for items not listed on the move-out list?

UPDATED: Aug 23, 2011

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What to do if you are being charged for items not listed on the move-out list?

I paid a $400 pet fee and a $400 pet deposit when I signed my lease. The apartment complex is trying to charge me over $700 for carpet replacement after receiving $800 in pet fee/pet deposit. On our move-out inspection they only mentioned $50 for drawer skins, $20 for drip pans, and $132 for final water bill and mentioned they might need to power scrub the carpet to remove stains with no cost mentioned. Now they are trying to say I owe for carpet replacement, a dent in the refrigerator door, and cleaning of the bathrooms as well . Can I dispute this?

Asked on August 23, 2011 Alabama


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If your received prior to vacating your formal rental a signed "move out list" setting forth certain items needing repairs and this was signed by either the landlord or his/her representative, the landlord will have a hard time making any headway for the $700.00 claimed carpet replacement if that was not mentioned in the "move out" punch list as well as the dent in the refrigerator and cleaning of the bathrooms.

Many times landlords at the end of a tenant's lease try and charge a tenant for the costs of rug or carpet replacement even though the claimed costs result from normal wear and tear of the carpet or rug. Sometimes the tenant voluntarily pays and the landlord pockets the money never making carpet or rug replacement for the vacated unit.

All states have laws stating that a tenant is not responsible for the repair of items needing replacement as the result of normal wear and tear.

From what you have written, you seem to have very good grounds for disputing the new charge for the carpet replacement, refrigerator and the cleaning of the bathrooms.

Good luck.

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