(Closed) Landlord took half of our security deposit for repainting and cleaning! Advice?!

posted 7 years ago in Home
Post # 17
2457 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

I have NEVER, in my 7 years of renting at apartments, received my security deposit back. Ever.

Instead, I am usually charged EXTRA for things like carpets and walls, which I have never, ever paid. I scrub down my apartments, too. They’re just out to get you.

Post # 18
8035 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2013

Sounds normal for where I live. They’ll always take at least the amount it costs to steam-clean carpets.

I fully expect to not get my security deposit back… but I knew that going in.

Post # 19
2239 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

Ugh, this is why renting makes me nuts.  I’m sorry this is happening to you.  I took pictures of the condition of everything when we moved in and I plan to take pictures when we move out too.  Before we moved in they installed brand new carpet and it looks brand new still.  We have to pay a $200 cleaning fee (we didn’t have to pay a security deposit) and they gave us a list of additional costs for excessive cleaning/damages whatever.  I refuse to pay more than the required $200 so I’ll be sure to take pics while leaving too.  Thanks for posting this =/ I’m sorry it’s happening to you but with a move on the horizon, for my husband and I, it’s good information to know.  

Post # 20
1285 posts
Bumble bee

Read your rental contract. They DO take money out for re-painting, carpet scrubbing services and cleaning services.  Regardless if you clean or not, they have people come in and clean.

Post # 21
6255 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: March 2014

I got screwed out of $700 from an unscrupulous landlord who would call and curse me out every day for not getting him the ADDITIONAL $500 he said he needed for “ruining the hardwoods.” I never paid him the additional money, but I never got the deposit back, either, and I did not ruin ANYTHING.

Since then, I take obsessive pictures when I move in and when I move out, sometimes going as far as to photograph the place with a newspaper clearly showing the date near the most often exploited areas (ovens, refrigerator). I also refuse to rent anywhere that charges more than about $450 in deposit money. It’s just too much at stake when you know the landlord-tenant laws are weak enough in your state that they will probably try and fleece you regardless. They’re never in any hurry to fix things like leaks, do routine spraying for bugs, evict problem neighbors, etc., but when it comes time to move out, they try and charge you for broken things, like you hadn’t been trying to contact them for several months about them.

I hate landlords and we are never living in another apartment.

Post # 23
1876 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

I live in NYC too so I’m fairly familiar with apartments. They cannot deduct you for those charges. Did you take pics when you left to prove the condition of the apt? This would help your case. Had you painted? If you didn’t paint, and they just did a normal paitn job – they can’t charge you for that.

You need to reach out to them (in writing) and let them know that if you don’t receive the full amt back you will take them to small claims. Most likely, they’ll send you the money ASAP.

Post # 25
3457 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

View original reply
@rickhurst35:  They DO take money out for re-painting, carpet scrubbing services and cleaning services.  Regardless if you clean or not, they have people come in and clean.

Sure, but if it’s normal wear and tear, they normally can’t charge you for their decision to do this.  As you note, it depends on your lease, and I’d add the laws in your state.  I’ve only been charged once out of six apartments – but I’ve lived in generally tenant friendly locations, took pictures afterwards, cleaned well (ah, military brat experience here) and got clean signoffs before the end of the month in many cases.

Post # 26
2777 posts
Sugar bee

@howsweetitis:  I don’t think you would have a case in small claims court. If you went through and filled a bunch of nail holes then it obviously left white spots all over the walls requiring them to be painted, it sounds like you owe that money fair and square

Post # 27
1042 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

I lived in one apartment where my roommate and I left a baseball sized hole in the wall. The landlords gave us our whole deposit back because we left the place so clean.

My very next apartment where I lived alone had absolutely no damage, and she took $150 for cleaning. I questioned her about it, because I had left it a lot cleaner than when I moved in, she tod me I missed the groove in the oven handle and didnt clean behind the oven knobs! I was moving out of province, and she knew it, so she got away with it.

This kind of slumlord behaviour infuriates me. Take your LL to small claims court. Hope you win!

Post # 28
1684 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

Some places are awful.  My fiance didn’t get his security deposit back on his first apartment because of stupid things.  Example: one of the ice trays was cracked at some point while they were living there and they got charged $50 for it.

I’ve lived in several rentals and have had amazing relationships with my land lords.  If any Bees are considering going with a corporate apartment building or with a land lord, go with the land lord.  You usually get better quality, better service, and better relationships.

Post # 29
171 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

View original reply
@BeachBride2014:  I’ve had bad experiences both ways, but worse with corporate.

I had one terrible landlord who left parts of the apartment unpainted with the promise to finish them when we moved in, then tried to take our security deposit to paint the walls (among other things). Luckily we got everything in writing that was unfinished when we moved in, so I got some advice to write him a letter saying, “I have been advised by my family lawyer to withhold the final month’s rent and allow you to keep the security deposit as a fair and final settlement of this matter.” Never heard from him again.

Then I dealt with a corporate landlord that was even worse. We had a wall that was clearly leaking from the outside. It become insanely mold infested. After constant hounding in person, by email, etc. they finally came. All they did was scrape and repaint, so the problem obviously came back. Then they tried to charge us for it when they moved out.

My current landlord is great because he cares about the property, but he can be a little too anal. We have vintage soft pine floors that dent if you breathe on them. I’ll be curious to see what happens with our security deposit.

Post # 31
361 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

I am so glad you got most of your money back. As a first time renter I took pics of all the damage throughout my apartment that they didn’t bother to fix just in case something similar happens to me. Thank you for your advice!!!

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