Post # 1
Hi beautiful bees – I need your help!
So, I just moved into a new place with my SO a few days ago. Up until now, I have lived in a studio apartment alone. I fulfilled my one year lease and moved out this past weekend. A few days before I moved, my landlord posted a “clean-up” list on my door. The list was long – in all my 24 years on this planet, I have never before been asked to “scrub the walls and sponge the balcony railings”. However, I am OCD and love to clean, so I cleaned for 2 days straight until my fingers were numb. This place was sparkling.
My old landlord called me today to tell me that he did the initial walk-through (I couldn’t be present, as I had a parent/teacher conference at work). He said that the place looked relatively clean, but that there were a few black scruff marks on the floors, and that the linolium in the bathroom appeared to be peeling up a bit in the corner. The “wood” in the bathroom is not even real, and the moisture in the room definitely made it do this. This place was only about 4 years old, but it wasn’t made with very high-quality materials.
So, he asked me to come back this Saturday so he could show me the things that weren’t cleaned to absolute “standard”. I told him that I cleaned very, very well and left it in tip-top shape. I said that I couldn’t believe he was bothering me for a few “scruff” marks I might have missed with the swiffer wet jet. He told me he could just take it out of my deposit if I didn’t want to clean it again myself.
I am wondering what exactly is going on here on his end, and what I should do. The lease covers “normal wear a tear of the apartment” w/out withholding any deposit amounts. I am in shock that he could find anything wrong with my cleaning job – it is not my responsibility to get it ready for the next tenant, is it? I have never before moved into a place that didn’t hire a professional cleaning service before I moved in.
What should I do?
Thanks a million!
Post # 3
I know it’s sort of nitpicky but they can take it out of your deposit if there are things that you need to clean. The linoleum thing is sort of iffy, normal wear and tear over time isn’t covered but sometimes landlords think that seeing a bunch of things when the place changes hands means the renter should pay.
I would go with him to the apartment and clean the scuff things and see what can be done about the rest. Has he said how much it would take out of your deposit?
Post # 4
i would go over your contract… then bring it with you and show it to him “:)
Post # 5
As far as I know, normal wear and tear shouldn’t be taken out of your deposit. I would look at your lease and see what it says.
Post # 6
I understand, but I truly did clean – very well – no joke! I don’t understand the “scuff marks” comment. I swiffered the entire place over three times, and bleached every surface top to bottom.
Post # 7
- Wedding: August 2018 - Oakland Manor
I would defnitely go for a final walk through – did you take pictures before/right when you moved in? Certain things should be covered under “wear and tear” and I would certainly look up the landlord tenant laws in your state.
Post # 8
And no, he did not say how much would be taken out.
Post # 9
I did take pictures when I moved in, and after I did all the cleaning.
Post # 10
I say print out the pictures and bring them with you to the walk through. I think that once he sees how you left the place in such good condition, he’ll just drop it. Maybe he was trying to get some extra money of you.
Post # 11
In Australia, yes it is the tenant’s job to get the place ready for the next tenant. You can buy an “end of lease clean” from cleaning companies in which they get it absolutely perfect, or you can clean yourself for 2 days straight to get the same result 🙂 We have only rented once in the UK and definitely left it in better condition than we found it, but the range hood above the oven was still greasy. The woman said we could clean it right then, or they would pay for it and that would come out of our deposit. Um, no thanks! We cleaned it then and there and got a perfect score.
Some landlords are totally dodgy though and do not take normal wear and tear into account. Is this the landlord or the agent? Either way I would go with them to do the inspection together, bring some cleaning products in the car so you can do a quick run down of anything that can be done at the time, and I’d bring someone else for moral support in case he is really stretching the boundaries of what’s acceptable. Bring your lease/contract too! Good luck 🙂
Post # 12
my ex landlord tried to pull that with me…he even tried to say that he had to pay for a new ad to rent it out! i hadn’t realized to do it at the time but with this apt now, we’re going to use our security for our last month’s rent when we do move out. i told my landlord that i had no problem taking him to court for withholding my deposit and that my friend is an attorney who had no problem representing me and including the cost of his fees in my suit amount against him. (my friend is an attorney but i had no intention of going to court) but i did a damn fine job of bluffing and walked out of there with my deposit (cash!). if you do try to get your deposit back, bring a witness er i mean friend. don’t do it alone.
total side note – congrats on the new place with your SO!
Post # 13
Every apartment I have lived in, I have had to clean relatively well, If it wasn’t to their liking they would take it out of my security deposit. Definitely go over your lease with him and point out the normal wear and tear part, if all else fails threaten to get a lawyer!! Good luck!!
Post # 14
I have always had this happen. We just moved and we are in the same building- and nothing was wrong with our apartment, and Fiance and I are both super OCD cleaners like no one’s business, and I just found out we are gettng $80 back. Plus, they want us to pay a new deposit that is twice as large as the original. I had one landlord keep $1500 for no reason. No reason!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Post # 15
As long as the place is relatively same as when you moved in and you have pictures of it when you moved in as well as pictures of it when you moved out you should be fine. If he tries to keep ANY of your deposit, take him to small claims court. I had problems with a previous landlord who kept our deposit (didn’t even give us an excuse as to why she kept it, just wouldn’t answer the phone or call us back when we wanted it back). We actually left the place in much better condition than before we moved in. I have always regretted not taking her to small claims court over it and wonder how many other people she has done that to since then.
Post # 16
Posts like this make me nervous since we are moving in 2 weeks! Apparently our rental company (which changed hands in the middle of our lease w/o prior notification which peeved me off) likes to rip people off on deposits. I’m going to super scour and take an excessive amt of pictures!
I wouldn’t count scuff marks as “wear and tear” and you’re right it isn’t your job to clean for the next tenant, but they will deduct from your deposit if they have to clean it. The faux wood in the b-room or whatever, I would be inclined to fight for as wear and tear.