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Time limits to collect

I lived in an apartment for 5 years in which all other units had carpet replaced twice. We choose not to and were told it would just be done upon move out. Now that we moved they are trying to charge us $1500 two months later. We haven’t received a statement reporting where our deposit went to and what we are being charged for. Can landlords come back two months later and charge you? Also can they charge you for something that was to be done anyway?

Asked on June 18, 2009 under Real Estate Law, Georgia

Answers:

J.V., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

The laws surrounding landlord-tenant relationships is very unclear because each landlord and tenant relationship can differ slightly depending on the specifics of the lease agreement and any oral contract as well.

What I would suggest you do is review the terms of your lease. See if it states the carpet is to be changed or anything like that. Also see if it provides a time line for the walk through to be done. If so than you will have a fairly good guide as to what is and isn't allowed.

If the lease is silent as to those items than I would suggest you contact the landlord and attempt to settle the matter. First ask for an itemized invoice of where the deposit went. I also would advise if you took pictures before you left they can show the state of the apartment at that time. If the landlord refuses to cooperate you will really only have two choices. Either contact a local attorney who specializes in this area of law. They can help navigate the system for you and put some pressure on the landlord to follow through on the oral agreement with the carpets. You can also attempt to file in small claims court of landlord-tenant dispute resolution (or whatever GA will have for this area as I am not admitted in GA I am unsure). You can call the court and they will help walk you through it.

Good luck


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