Posted by TenantNet on July 25, 1997 at 12:20:26:
In Reply to: Landlord Witholding Deposit after waivers in Walk-through posted by Lillian Karuri on July 23, 1997 at 11:45:05:
: Hovewer, 3 weeks later, the landlord sent me a check for only $99 of
my $600 deposit, and along with, a lengthy list of maintenance and
repairs that he claims to have made on the apartment.
Can you spell S-C-A-M. This happens a lot -- which is why some tenants
decide to withhold the last month's rent in lieu of the deposit, thereby
putting the shoe on the other foot. It may not be exactly "legal" according
to the lease, but the real world answer is that it precludes the scams so
often perpetrated against tenants. If the owner has legitimate damage
claims, he must prove that they occurred. Here you had a walk through
which is the smart thing. Hopefully you took photos and had a witness.
You should go to your state attorney general or small claims court.
: 1. Does the Landlord's request for 2 walk-throughs, with no findings
waive his right to later asess fines for alleged damages, AFTER his agent
took all the keys to the apartment?
It's a claim you can make.
: 2. Is the tenant ever responsible for paying 100% of the general
maintenance of the property that were not identified in the lease, or
in the walk-through?
You pay rent for ongoing maintenance. A deposit is supposed to cover
damages BEYOND what is normal wear and tear. Walls need occasional
painting. Carpets eventually wear out. This is normal wear and tear
unless it can be shown you did something unusual that accellerated
the need for replacement. Owners often try to shift maintenance
costs to conveniently created damages.
: 4. Should I cash the check for $99 prior to confirming whether I
will seek mediation or legal recourse?
Only if you write him a letter and indicate on the check that cashing it
is not a waiver from you and that it represents only partial payment.
I think one of the CTRC fact sheets covers this.
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