What’s wrong with this picture?: Excessive damages charges from landlord?

Pittman & Davis

Question by Mrs. Coogan: What’s wrong with this picture?: Excessive damages charges from landlord?
These are the charges I received from my ex-landlord after asking to be reimbursed for nearly $ 4500 worth of our belongings which she threw out, claiming that our apartment was “abandoned”. Our rent was paid through the month, she acknowledges on the form that we did indeed provide proper notice and we finished our term. The charges total $ 4973, less our deposits ($ 700, including pet deposits), bringing the bill to $ 4273. The charges just seem very fishy to me. The apartment is only about 800 sq. ft. Also, that woman was recently fired for stealing money hmmm…

$ 125: Claims that we owed $ 125 in rent: A lie, since it was paid in full for 6 months and that was the first we heard of this. I believe it was made up to justify her “abandonment” claim.
$ 20: Repair door scratches from our dog, a legit charge, I agree.
$ 3,718: For removing old carpet, replacing, and “slab treatment”, whatever that is. This is the main charge I’m concerned with.
$ 250: For heavy cleaning. The unit was indeed dirty b/c we had not yet finished moving when she took it upon herself to do this. Had we been given the proper chance, it wouldn’t have been left that dirty.
$ 100: Trash removal?
$ 60: Keys not turned in (big clue it wasn’t abandoned). She never asked for them.
$ 60: Paint touch up. We didn’t damage the walls at all, this is normal wear and tear.
$ 615: Carpet CLEANING. How is this possible, to charge for what seems to be multiple cleanings AND replacement?
$ 150: De-flea. Our dogs didn’t have fleas, they were on medication monthly for that. Plus, that’s what she claimed the “slab treatment” was for.

What seems wrong here to you guys?

Best answer:

Answer by cowgrl
Are these the estimates she gave you or copies of the actual receipts? She needs to give you real copies of the actual receipts/invoices; she can’t just tell you whatever she feels like telling you.

How long did you live there? If you had lived there for over a year, she can’t charge for carpet cleaning and painting unless there is real damage like rips/tears in the carpet or holes in the wall bigger than a nail.

If you have pictures of the place, you can use that to prove replacement of the carpets was not necessary; if you can’t see anything bad in the pictures, it didn’t need to be replaced. She also cannot charge you for the entire cost of new carpet unless it was brand-new when you moved in and were only there for a short time. 10 years is the “accepted” carpet life; if the carpet was older than that, she cannot charge you at all, even if she really did have to replace it. If the carpet was 5 years old, she can only charge 50%, etc. It does seem fishy that she would clean the carpets AND have them replaced…

If you can prove you paid rent in full (receipts, checks, etc.), then do not give her the $ 125, although this area of your story is lacking detail.

As for the “heavy cleaning,” trash removal, etc.- if this was done prior to the end of your lease, I wouldn’t pay it because she indeed didn’t give you a chance to take care of this yourself. You have a right as a tenant to know what she intends to do and give you an opportunity to do it yourself.

Hope this helped.

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