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Old landlord asking for money for damages after deposit was returned


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#1 CuriousCat3K

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 10:58 AM

My 2 Companion Dogs and I moved out of an apartment in January 12, 2012. I had the carpets professionally cleaned. The resident manager and I did the final walk through on January 16. She and I signed the paperwork and I received my deposit back in about a week. On February 15th, the Leasing manager called me to say that the carpet needs to be replaced and is charging me for that. Can they do that? I have been trying to research my rights, but I can't seem to find anything that speaks to landlords seeking compensation after the deposit has been returned. Please advise.

#2 Guest_FindLaw_Amir_*

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 08:34 AM

What state is this concerning? How much time has passed since you received your deposit? Also, did you receive an itemized statement regarding this charge?

#3 CuriousCat3K

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 11:10 AM

[list=1]
[*]This was in San Diego, CA.
[*]Have not received an itemized statement. Now the leasing manager is telling me if I don't contact him soon, that the "corporate office" will send me to collections.
[*]I received the deposit within 10 days of moving out.
[/list]

#4 Guest_FindLaw_Amir_*

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 12:42 PM

Did you receive a bill or any documentation for such charges? You may want to read the California Department of Consumer Affairs: Refunds of Security Deposits as a good resource to learn more about your rights. You may also want to visit the Real Estate Law Center and read Landlord Tenant Law.

#5 adjusterjack

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 01:04 PM

My 2 Companion Dogs and I moved out of an apartment in January 12, 2012. I had the carpets professionally cleaned. The resident manager and I did the final walk through on January 16. She and I signed the paperwork and I received my deposit back in about a week. On February 15th, the Leasing manager called me to say that the carpet needs to be replaced and is charging me for that. Can they do that? I have been trying to research my rights, but I can't seem to find anything that speaks to landlords seeking compensation after the deposit has been returned. Please advise.


The place you look is the security deposit statute Section 1950.5 at:

http://www.leginfo.c...ile=1940-1954.1

Read it carefully. It's a bit complicated.

But I don't see anything in there that actually prohibits a landlord from seeking compensation for damage that could not be discovered upon the move out inspection.

For example, if pet odor or damage was masked for several weeks by the smell of the cleaning chemicals, the landlord should still be able to claim compensation for damage.

For your own protection, i suggest you immediately contact the management office and arrange to personally inspect the carpet and find out what they are talking about.

Understand that if you are, indeed, responsible for damage they will only be entitled to the Actual Cash Value of the damaged carpet which is its replacement cost less depreciation.

So if you are going to agree to pay anything you will want to get their written estimate as to the replacement carpet, confirm that the estimated carpet is like kind and quality of the existing carpet, and demand documentation of the previous installation date of the damaged carpet.

Then you can attempt to negotiate a settlement which, of course, you get in writing before you hand over any money.

Warning: Legal issues are complicated. Explanations and comments here are simplified and might not fully explain the ramifications of your particular issue. I am not a lawyer. I do not give legal advice. I make comments based on my knowledge and experience. I guarantee nothing. If you act on my comments without the advice of an attorney, you do so at your own risk.





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