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Re: unfair move-out charges

Posted by TenantNet on January 29, 1997 at 12:00:43:

In Reply to: Re: unfair move-out charges posted by T. Romito on January 29, 1997 at 11:26:17:

: Thanks so much for you assistance. I have a couple of more questions.
: Following your response, I again called the landlord and asked them to
: itemize damages for me. I should have mentioned in my first message
: to you that I bought a house in Dec 96 before my lease was up in June 97. The
: cancellation fee in my lease states that I am responsible for 1 1/2 month's rent or
: actual damages, whichever is the lesser amount. It does NOT state that cleaning
: is considered damages. The landlord stated that since I moved out in Dec 96,
: instead of June 97, that they consider those cleaning costs damages
: because they did not budget for those costs until the month my lease was
: supposed to be up next year. She then gave me their lawyer's name and
: number. Now they will have "extra" money in their budget for next year
: since they charged me for the cleaning this year. So it seems to me they
: are getting away with having me pay for their cleaning costs. Can they do
: this under these circumstances even though there is nothing in writing in
: my lease stating that cleaning is considered damages if I cancel my lease?
: By the way, they rerented the apartment quickly and charged me also for
: the 10 days of "lost" rent as part of damages, which I have no problem
: paying. Do you think they "got" me legally on this budget nonsense issue?

That you moved out early is something else entirely. Yes, the landlord may claim
legal damages for your moving out early (loss of anticipated income), but
that has nothing to do with carpet cleaning. Don't let them confuse the issue.
If you move out early, as your lease obligated you for the rent for the term
of the lease, the owner is within his rights to claim you owe the entire amount
to the end of the lease. Here your lease limits his claim to 1-1/2 months.
ANd in some states the court practice (if not the law) is that a landlord
has an obligation to attempt to "mitigate his damages" -- try to rerent the place.
If he fails to try, he waives his right to claim damages, or if he actually
does rerent the place, then he has suffered no damages and has no claim.
The nonsense about budgeting about the carpet is doubletalk. Don't buy that part
of it. You weren't there for another six months to dirty it up. It has no
bearing on any obligation you might (or might not) have for moving out
early. THe owner is "double-dipping" here.

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