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kylieRN

Charged $500 over security deposit

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I am being charged $1000 after my lease for various 'damages'. Almost all of which were present when we first moved in. Including smashed cabinet doors, broken blinds, numerous holes in walls (some with the nails still in them painted over). Then I am being charged to both deodorize and to replace the carpet, which seems to me like you would either do one or the other, why would anyone deodorize a brand new carpet. Then there are multiple 'cleaning fees' , cleaning fee, cleaning blinds fee, etc.

Can I dispute these charges successfully? I have been reading and rereading Utah code all day but there are still some confusions I have as to whether I can successful dispute these and how. My biggest Concern in all this is that I don't want to spend hundreds and something that I did not damage. Also, they almost certainly would have had to charge the previous tenant for the damages as they were already there when we move in, so are they just not repairing damages and then charging each new tenant for the exact same thing? that seems more like fraud to me or something?

Also, we signed up for a 12 month lease but they put in our lease that we had to pay rent through the end of the month. From what I have known in renting, common practice is to have it end the day it started. So I already had to pay a full months rent when were moved out on the 2nd (lease began on the 6th). Are they exploiting a loop hole to do this?

We also did not receive the reasons in which these things were being charged, only that they were. Doesn't Utah code require them to provide an itemize list and the reasons behind each charge?

It anyone can help better explain what I have hear, that would be great. I have always been a model tenant according to my other landlords and we spent weeks and money scrubbing that entire apartment. We had the carpets cleaned twice during our year and we cleaned was left behind by the last tenants. (dog feces on balcony, caked on dust on baseboards and laundry room.)

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Hi @kylieRN

 

Welcome to the community and thanks for posting! Sorry to hear about the issue with your former landlord. Landlords can deduct from a security deposit for damage caused by the tenant or excessive dirtiness, but not for normal wear-and-tear. In Utah, within 30 days of the tenant move-out, a landlord must return the security deposit, and if not returned in full provide an itemized list of any deduction made. From your post, it sounds like the landlord made some deductions for damage, which appeared to you to be excessive, and also unwarranted because the damage existed when you moved it. However, it may be difficult for you to prove that the damage existed at that time, unless you have a "move-in statement" itemizing damage, photographs from the move-in, or written correspondence to the landlord identifying damage.

 

One option available to you is to sue your landlord in small claims court for the return of the rest of your security deposit on the basis that the cleaning expenses were unnecessary and excessive, and that the damage was caused by prior tenants.

 

Regarding the start and end date of the lease, are you saying, essentially that the lease started on July 1, 2015 (for example), and ended on July 31, 2016, when you would have expected it to end on June 30, 2016? If this was written into the lease, and you signed the lease, it may be too late to do anything about it. It may have been wiser to remain in the unit until the end of the month, or attempted to negotiate a prorated month of rent.

 

Best of luck and let us know if you have additional questions.

The FindLaw.com Team

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I did complete an itemized condition report that was provided by the apartment complex where I very very thoroughly listed all of these items. Including the animal feces and the damage to the cupboards, walls and floors. I had pictures but my computer crash a couple months before we moved and I am working to try and recover those files.

 

On the lease agreement deal, We signed/began the lease on the 6th of June, 2015, so I expected it to end on the 6th of June 2016, but they ended it on the 30th of June 2016. Requiring us to pay for a 12 month and 24 days of lease when we requested a 12 month lease. Our fault for not checking but we were not verbally notified of this either.

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@kylieRN

 

Sorry to hear about your computer crash! But, the itemized condition report sounds like a great piece of evidence that you did not cause the damage at issue, and may show that your landlord was not justified in withholding a portion of your security deposit for repairs.

 

Regarding the lease duration, that is not as cut and dry. However, if you do decide to proceed with a small claims case, you might as well ask for reimbursement for the month's rent you paid when you did not live in the unit. There are no guarantees that the judge will rule in your favor, but no harm in asking!

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57 minutes ago, kylieRN said:

Can I dispute these charges successfully?

 

Well...we certainly have no way to rule out the possibility based on your single, one-sided paragraph of information.  Of course, we have no way of making an objective assessment of the situation.

 

 

59 minutes ago, kylieRN said:

they almost certainly would have had to charge the previous tenant for the damages as they were already there when we move in, so are they just not repairing damages and then charging each new tenant for the exact same thing? that seems more like fraud to me or something?

 

Your landlord may well have charged the prior tenant, but that doesn't mean your landlord actually recovered anything.  Suggesting that fraud is occurring requires a whole lot of speculation that may not be at all true.

 

 

1 hour ago, kylieRN said:

Also, we signed up for a 12 month lease but they put in our lease that we had to pay rent through the end of the month. From what I have known in renting, common practice is to have it end the day it started. So I already had to pay a full months rent when were moved out on the 2nd (lease began on the 6th). Are they exploiting a loop hole to do this?

 

These facts aren't clear.  While it is, indeed, common for leases to expire on the same day of the year following the first day of the lease, it's also common for a least that starts on, for example, July 15, 2015 to end on July 31, 2016.  I don't know what you mean by "loop hole," but one would obviously need to read the applicable portion of your lease and have a full accounting of rent paid to give any sort of informed opinion about this.

 

 

1 hour ago, kylieRN said:

We also did not receive the reasons in which these things were being charged, only that they were. Doesn't Utah code require them to provide an itemize list and the reasons behind each charge?

 

Here's a link to the applicable law:  https://le.utah.gov/xcode/Title57/Chapter17/57-17-S3.html

 

The law does not specify how detailed the "written notice that itemizes and explains the reason for each deduction" must be.

 

If you disagree, don't pay.  The landlord may or may not sue.  If you think you should get some of your deposit back, you may sue for that.

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