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So I moved out of my apartment after the lease finished because I had a terrible landlord and didn’t want to deal with her anymore. Upon moving out there was a few damages that I fixed myself. There was a small hole in the wall and I filled it in with dry wall but did not repaint it so you could see the white patch.

My landlord asked me to have the carpet professionally cleaned and give her the receipt. I rented a steam cleaner and cleaned the carpets myself and told her I was unable to give her a reciept because I did it myself and it was perfectly clean.

I also bought $ 60 worth of cleaning supplies and made the 1 bedroom apartment look in even better condition that was when I got it. I made washroom sparkling clean and whipped everything in the apartment right down to cleaning the dust off each and every blind. Washed all the windows, washed off every countertop in the kitchen, just everything you could imagine.

Also, when I first moved in, I noticed a small patch on the storage room door. That looked like it was filled in with white puddy. I left it that way when I left.

Now after moving out my landlord, instead of sending me my damage deposit back, sends me a large bill.

After their inspection of my apartment they charged me for the following things:

Carpet cleaning $ 168.25
Suite cleaning: $ 195 6 hours at 32.50 per hour.
Repaired: 2 walls, and storage room door. $ 300

My damage deposit was $ 300 and they deducted that from my bill. And are forcing me to pay $ 365 within 30 days of they are going to a collection agency and having my flawless credit history destroyed.

I’m completely fuming. They’re charging me for the storage room door that I left the way I got it. Also 2 walls, now maybe they didn’t like the patch job I did on that one wall, okay, charge me for it, that’s fair I guess. But 2 walls, I have no idea what this second wall is about?

Carpet cleaning is fair too, I suppose. The carpet was perfectly fine and didn’t need a professional job done after I already did it…but whatever.

And charging me $ 195 for 6 hours of cleaning in an apartment I left spotless, what the heck! They charged me $ 195 and took 6 hours to clean up perhaps a little bit of dust I may or may not have missed.

I am being completely ripped off here and don’t know what I can do about this? How can she have the right to charge me for all this? Someone please help or give me some advice on what I can do about the situation.

5 Thoughts on My landlord is conning me out of $668, help?
  1. Reply
    August 22, 2011 at 3:08 am

    In hind sight you should have arranged a walk through the apartment with the landlord after you cleaned it so you could have discussed any findings or agreed on the condition. If you have any pictures taken after the cleaning you might have a chance to challenge the bill but with out any proof you would lose in a court of law.

  2. Reply
    Big Deal Maker
    August 22, 2011 at 3:38 am

    First off her charging 168.00 is Absolutely outrageous for the carpets to be cleaned. A one bedroom is no more than $ 50.00 tops.
    If you have witnesses for the cleaning that you had done then you would ok there.
    Now for the repairs. She can not charge for the small repairs of $ 300.00 because that is more than any type of repair costs she would have in cured.
    If you had lived there more than a year. She can not charge for any more than a nominal fee.
    Send her a letter stating that you will not pay her any money and you will give her 2 weeks to return your deposit or you will take her to small claims court. Also in the mean time take the letter to a landlord/ Tenant attorney and ask them. For a hundred bucks he can stop this mess in its tracks.

  3. Reply
    August 22, 2011 at 4:09 am

    Although it is not a certainty, it is quite possible your landlord may not have even looked at your apartment. Many landlords have someone who is in charge of getting vacant apartments reconditioned to rent again. It may have been standard practice for them to have a crew go in an do all the things you are being charged for that did not actually need to be done. The apartment manager and his crew will then split the proceeds of this fictitious billing. Contact your local housing authority or seek out an attorney who specializes in this type of situation. Your landlord is attempting to collect as much as is possible and figures you will ultimately pay because you do not want the hassle of dealing with her. If you have any photos of the apartment following your cleaning or if you have anyone who assisted you while doing the cleaning or repair or can attest to the fact of the condition of the apartment, that person would be a valuable asset. Good luck. You are not the first person to be ripped off by a landlord.

  4. Reply
    August 22, 2011 at 5:08 am

    There are a couple of things I’d like to ask first: Did you take pictures of the condition when you moved in and of the condition when you moved out? Also, did you fill out any sort of form that noted what was wrong with the unit when you first took it over?

    As someone else said, in hindsight, it would have been a good idea, as it always is, to have done a walk-through. At that time you could have addressed any possible misunderstandings in person, and probably resolved them to the landlord’s satisfaction, assuming that what she is claiming is true. She also would have likely let you know and signed off at that time on what she would be returning to you from your deposit. For future reference, always make an appointment for a walk-through. If you can’t make it during the times convenient for a landlord, send a relative. I’ve had relatives “stand in” for me at a walk-through on 2 occasions. And one time with a particularly difficult landlord, I had a witness with me and took my own photos. You just never know.

    I would start with trying to talk to your landlord and inquiring about the charges. Let her know that you are genuinely confused about some of them. If you filled out the form that noted what was wrong with the unit upon move-in or took pictures, you can prove what you are claiming to her. Also, you mentioned that she asked for the carpets to be professionally cleaned, but many apartments will accept your carpet cleaner rental receipt as sufficient proof. Did you ever show her this?

    If she is not at all receptive and you DO have proof to show that what she’s saying is incorrect, you will need to file a lawsuit in small claims court for your deposit.

  5. Reply
    August 22, 2011 at 6:07 am

    I wish I could help with your current situation but I can’t. I can offer you some advice going forward, though. I went through a similar situation a number of years ago – landlord was all smiles when we first met her and she was all smiles every time I dropped off the rent check but when it came time to hand over the keys and retrieve our security deposit, the smiles were all but gone.

    She nailed us for things I know were there when we moved in. The house was nearly 100 years old and hadn’t been updated in 40 years but we had no proof and basically is was our word against her’s (and the renter will almost always lose that fight). So we let her keep our deposit without a fight but ended up taking a lot away from the situation.

    When we signed the lease for our new apartment, the first thing I did before moving a single box or piece of furniture through the door was come through with a video camera. I detailed everything with commentary about what I was seeing and I left nothing to chance. I started out right at the front door and detailed every nook and cranny of the apartment and stopped everywhere there was even a scratch, marred surface or spatter of dirt and audibly detailed what I was seeing. Then I loaded it onto my PC and e-mailed it to myself, my wife and a 3rd party witness so I’d have a date and time stamp of the file that was irrefutable. I never really thought I’d need this video as the fella that owned the 4-plex was a pretty square guy so as a courtesy to him I offered a copy of the video file which he gladly accepted.

    Then he sold out to someone else and that’s when things got interesting. When it came time to move on the new landlords tried to tag us with every little repair. They were refusing to return our $ 1K deposit and threatening further legal action against us because they said the cost of the repairs surpassed our deposit. They were really being difficult about the situation and refused to listen to us when we told them the damage was there before we moved in. I demanded a detailed break down of what they were charging against our deposit and once I had that information in writing, I gave them the video and let them know I was fully prepared to go to court over the matter, if necessary.

    Low and behold, we received a check for our full deposit within a week’s time. Morale of the story is you gotta cover your behind in these situations because most landlord’s play by the same rules – you are GOLD to them before and during the terms of your lease but meaningless afterwards so cover your butt right from the start.

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