Posted by T. Romito on February 28, 1997 at 12:19:27:
In Reply to: Re: unfair move-out charges posted by TenantNet on January 29, 1997 at 12:00:43:
: : 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.
After your last response, I sent a check to the landlord for the amount of
lost rent only which I agree is an obvious damage. Along with the check, I
also sent a letter explaining that they have sustained no other loss due
to the cancellation of my lease, that the cleaning fees are services which
they are responsible for prior to a new tenant moving in, they just did
it five months earlier that originally anticipated. I also stated that if
anyone has sustained any damages, it is me. They are attempting to get ME
to pay for cleaning my old apartment for THEIR new tenant while THEY PAY
NOTHING. They responded with a "billing reminder" for the cleaning services
costs from the Assistant Manager of the leasing office. It was as if
they just ignored my letter. They did not even respond with a detailed
explanation of what they feel their loss/damage is. They also gave me a
due date on the "billing reminder". I still feel this is unjust and Iím
not sure what to do next.
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