(Closed) I can’t believe we were so naive

posted 6 years ago in Emotional
Post # 3
Member
913 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

Does the letter itemize the damage they claim, breaking down the $$ amount attributable to each item of damage they claim? Do they include receipts or written estimates for repairs? These are common requirements of many landlord-tenant ordinances. I don’t know where you live but in my city when a landlord withholds part of the security deposit and doesn’t provide an itemized accounting complete with estimates or receipts, you are automatically entitled to double your security deposit back. Read your local laws carefully, you may be in a good position here!

Post # 5
Member
913 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

@frustratedbee12:  In my city this would get you double damages. They would need to list out the damages by item, not just by room. You should really look up your local landlord-tenant ordinance, you can almost certainly find it online.

Post # 6
Member
868 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

Did you not take pictures when you left the property?!  That would be the only leverage you would have unless you have proof that you had to replace the dishwasher yourself as well as proof of the other repairs.  Do you have any correspondence in writing requesting that the changes be made?  I do not know why you would move into a unit under those conditions, it does not make any sense and is really unacceptable. I suggest you have a lawyer write a letter.  It will cost you $200 and scare the landlord enough to hand over the rest of your deposit.

Post # 7
Member
2607 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

Did you sign an inspection during your walk through when they gave you the keys?  Not sure if things work differently where you live, but here there is an itemized list and everything is checked off/documented right before the keys are handed over, and the landlord and tenant each get a copy.  If there is any dispute, we can take it up with what we call the “Residential Tenancies Branch” which is a board which arbitrates disputes between renters and landlords.  I’d look into that if I were you.

Post # 8
Member
3220 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: February 2012

I hate to say it but without photo documentation of your move in, and the fact that you took on so many responsibilities (cleaning, buying a washer), I don’t think you’re going to get very far with this. I’d chalk it up to a life lesson and take lots of pictures when you first move into your new place.

Post # 9
Member
3176 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

File a complaint with the BBB.

Post # 10
Member
913 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

OP is not necessarily out of luck just because she didn’t take pictures or do a walkthrough. In many jurisdictions OP would get her deposit back because the landlord didn’t itemize and substantiate the alleged damage–even if OP actually caused the damage.

I feel pretty strongly about this because it just happened to us. Landlord withheld about half of our security deposit without substantiating the alleged damage. After a few strong letters and emails with landlord he begrudgingly returned the balance of the deposit.

Post # 12
Member
1013 posts
Bumble bee

This might be a life lesson for you. Document everything and always assume they are trying to scam you. Thats what i’ve learned. 

You can try to file a complaint,  in the least it might screw up their business and put them under review even if you cant get your money back. 

Post # 13
Member
913 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

@frustratedbee12:  OK, that is great news! Feel free to PM me, I can walk you through what we did to get our landlord to return our deposit.

Post # 14
Member
3569 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

Do you communicate with them by email. I had almost the same issue with a former landlord, I end up breaking the lease and moving. I not only got my security back they had to double it because they didn’t follow the state laws regarding the timeline and itemize letter about why they kept my money.

When I went to court I was able to take all of the emails I had between the office and I. I am so happy I wrote an email to complain that despite me calling multiple times they didn’t fix all the issues which I listed. If you have any online information like that which is dated it could help you a lot.

Post # 15
Member
1271 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2013

you need to get a lawyer.  that’s bullshit.  seriously, find a lawyer that specializes in landlord-tenant disputes.  it will do you wonders.

Post # 16
Member
162 posts
Blushing bee

As far as I’m aware, the landlord can only bill you for the exact expenses incurred in fixing the damage you supposedly caused, and they have to provide receipts to prove that’s how much they spent.

For example, they can’t just say “You damaged the carpet and a replacement will cost $100” and charge you $100. They would actually have to provide a receipt for the carpet replacement from the company who provided the new carpet, and charge you the exact amount written on that receipt. No receipt = you don’t pay.

It doesn’t sound like your landlord provided you with receipts for costs incurred in fixing the damage you supposedly caused. They can’t just pluck arbitrary figures out of the air and charge you that amount for damage. They have to provide receipts to prove they actually spent that amount on fixing the damage.

Contact the landlord and ask for receipts to show how much they spent fixing the damage. I bet they didn’t actually spend a penny and are just trying to con you, so they won’t actually be able to provide any receipts. Tell them they have to either refund your money or provide receipts totalling the exact amount they charged you, or else you’ll call your lawyer.

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