Owner wants to keep our deposit???

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Topic: Owner wants to keep our deposit???

Real Estate October 14, 2014 at 11:12 am

Owner wants to keep our deposit???

We have recently vacated a rental property and completed a final walkthrough with the property manager. We hired someone to clean the property beforehand and did two more checks afterwards to make sure everything was clean. During our final walkthrough, we were only asked to replace a few lightbulbs and otherwise were told that the property was in a perfect condition. Two weeks after our walk through, we get an email from the property manager stating that there is a damage inside the house: chipped front door, chipped floor board, mildew/mold inside a HE washer. The email states that our deposit will not be fully refunded due to these damages. What are our rights dear Popville?

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I think there’s a difference between “The email states that our deposit will not be fully refunded” and “Owner wants to keep our deposit.” Presumably the owner just wants to deduct for the three items you mentioned, and will refund the rest?

I do, however, agree that it’s odd that there was a final walkthrough in which the property manager (? or the owner?) didn’t notice the chipped front door and chipped floorboard. (I’m not surprised that the issue of mildew/mold in a front-loading washing machine might not be apparent until later.) Maybe the owner is more observant than the property manager, and the property manager didn’t look carefully enough for damage?

The three things cited in the property manager’s e-mail aren’t incompatible with the fact that you had the apartment professionally cleaned. Two of them are damage-related, not cleanliness-related. And I wouldn’t be surprised if professional cleaners typically don’t look at the interior of washing machines, or at least not beyond cleaning off the tub rim and agitator on a traditional top-loading machine.

Did you chip the front door and floorboard, or were they like that when you got there? With the HE washer, did you typically leave its door open or closed when you weren’t using it?

We cleaned the washer every week inside and out, and ran a special HE washer cleaner every month…left the door open after each use of course. I cleaned the washer personally after the hired help went through. The door damage was not there when we left and the floor board was fine. We know as a fact that our landlord is in some sort of financial woes, because we kept on getting collection calls as potential associates residing at the address. Maybe it is the reason for finding excuses and trying to keep our security deposit. Arghhh!

Hey! I know this was a while ago, so I hope this can still be of help to you. The owner needs to provide receipts and documentation for each and every deduction made to the deposit (including the interest it’s earned over the year). If he can’t do so, then you should be able to get your money back.

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