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Here is some back story.
I moved into an apartment complex in August 2011, my lease was for a year, after the lease was up we went to Month to Month. We moved out December 1, 2012.
We always paid our rent on time, etc, etc. Our security deposit was $ 625.00
Here is my issue.
I received a statement from the apartment manager stating what was being deducted from my security deposit,
These are what was being deducted:
Carpet Cleaning $ 105
Painting $ 192.66
Drip Pans $ 25
Blind Replacement (2 blinds were bent) $ 186.00
Tile Broken (1 Square) $ 300.00 –
Trash Pick Up $ 35
Clean all Units Blinds $ 240
Prewash Walls $ 50
Dirty 1 slack (idk what that means) $ 11.00
total being $ 1,134.66
2 days of rent = $ 41.68
with a grand total of 1176.34
Leaving $ 551.34 to be paid after the security deposit is gone.

Okay – Now, with the Tile 1 Square Broken, here is the story. yes one tile was broken in half. But here is the thing, I was told prior to move out, that the cost of the tile and labor combined would be about $ 50. Since the manager could not find a matching tile (the tiles are from the 80s) I am being charged to REDO the ENTIRE fireplace. Seems fishy to me.
Also, They sent me a “Move Out Cost Sheet” which states what they are SUPPOSED to charge for move out cleaning and repair costs.
For the two new blinds, it states that they are supposed to charge me $ 30 each set of blinds. They charged me $ 186.00.
They are also charging me for two days of rent even though I turned the keys in on Dec 1st.

So here is my issue,
They sent me this statement about the second week of December.
From what I understand, under CA law, if repairs and cleaning costs are over the amount of $ 126 in total, I MUST receive receipts and invoices from the apartment, whether they did the work, or paid someone else to.
They have 21 days Under CA Law to provide me with such invoices and receipts.

I looked up in my Tenants Rights Handbook and it states that if the landlord fails to provide me with proof of the work listed above, that they legally cannot keep ANY of my deposit because they failed to comply with CA Law.

Am I right about that?

Secondly,
I called the apartments let them know I was disputing the charges that they are charging me, I sent them a letter stating so, also. I never got a call back. So I filed a BBB claim against them to try and get their attention so we can work this out.
Then I get a letter from a Collection Agency stating I owe them the $ 551.34 because the apartments sent me to collections and want it to go on my credit report.
I wrote the collection agency and they have put a hold on the collection until the issue is resolved. I also wrote all three credit agencies and let them know I was disputing this to cover my bases.

I just want to make sure I am correct in the fact that they did not follow CA Law by providing me proof, and I am entitled to my deposit back.
They wrongfully charged me for ALOT of things. like the painting, It should have been less, cleaning blinds states it should be less on the move out cost sheet. etc etc.

I need some advice on this, before I may have to take them to small claims court for not adequately providing information they are required to.

(Sorry for making this so long, wanted to put as much info as possible.

Thank You!
per Civil Section Code 1950.5(g)(6), The landlord must send the itemized statement, copies of invoices or receipts, and any good faith estimate to you at the address you provide. The landlord is not required to send you copies of invoices or receipts, or a good faith estimate, only if the cleaning and repairs cost less than $ 126 or if you waive your right to receive them. (Civil Section Code 1950.5(g)(4))
According to Granberry v. Islay Investments (1995) 9 Cal.4th 738, 745 [38 Cal.Rptr.2d 650, 653], California Practice Guide, Landlord-Tenant, Paragraphs 2:783-2:783.6 (Rutter Group 2011) “What if a landlord doesn’t provide a full refund, or a statement of deductions and a refund of amounts not deducted, by the end of the 21 day period as required by law? According to a California Supreme Court decision, the landlord loses the right to keep any of the security deposit and must return the entire deposit to you.”
The above are from the landlord and tenants handbook. Also, I gave my 30 day notice on the 1st of November.
December 1st was the day I was supposed to turn in my keys, and I did.

2 Thoughts on California Security Deposit Question for Renters?
  1. Reply
    Flower
    May 7, 2013 at 12:03 am

    The only item you could have disputed was the cost of the blinds. The two days of rent was because you didnt leave by November 30. You should have taken the matter to Small Claims Court but its not too late. Let the court decide what you owe.

    Read this weblink from the Calif Consumer Affairs regarding security deposits. It will explain everything.

  2. Reply
    Landlord
    May 7, 2013 at 12:27 am

    Are you going to court? BBB will not help you.

    Dispute the tile. it is 30 years old, one breaking in half is normal wear and tear, you should not pay.

    Dispute the blinds too, as normal wear and tear too, and if the judge still wants that only costs.

    I am not sure where you got that you are supposed to receive “proof”, it is only receipts. They had to get this in the mail to you by Dec 21.

    For the 2 days rent, it depends on when you gave your 30 day notice. This is right if not Nov 1.

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