My pervious landlord has used my security deposit and is charging over $200 in fees for replacing the carpet in our apartment due to "pet smell". Yes we have a pet. However, my question is why did they not attempt cleaning to remove "pet smell"; they stated that it is up the maintenance's discretion whether or not they clean or replace the carpet. How is that right, they have no policy or procedure to make this determination, basically he just walked in said is smelled like a pet so replace the carpet. He cannot prove that the smell would not come out because they did not attempt cleaning! According to IN state law, landlords are not allowed to use the security deposit for typical wear and tear. Is pet smell, if the apartment complex allows pets, considered normal wear and tear? If not, are they obligated to first attempt a reasonable and financially responsible charge such as cleaning as the carpet had "pet smell"? There were no soiled spots and they have no pictures of damage because it was just "pet smell". Also, I paid a non-refundable pet deposit which the lease states is used for property damage cause by the pet. Well if this isn't wear and tear, would it then be considered pet damage to the property, so why can't they use that towards the cost? I would also like to point out that when I talked to the assistant property manager and asked what the pet deposit was used for, he said "nothing". I would like to take them to small claims, do I have a chance? And my final question, the over $200 fee is due in 2 weeks, if I do not pay it says they will take it to collections (although the office manager stated she wouldn't bring to collections as we are in the middle of disputing the charges, however I don't believe them and feel they will take it to claims anyways). If I file a small claims form are they allowed to still take it to collections? I obviously do not want them to do this, what would happen if I paid the cost so they can't take it to collections, can I still file with small claims even though I paid it? Thanks for any advice and feedback!