“I am hoping some other fellow landlords can provide some advice.”

Photo by PoPville flickr user Erinn Shirley

“Dear PoPville,

Tenants recently moved out of my house in DC. I inspected the property two days after they moved out, and everything seemed in order. Because they had just bought a house, I wanted to be nice to them and return their deposit asap, which I did right after the inspection. Three days later, I moved back into the house and discovered the washing machine gasket was covered in mold and hair. I know to expect some mold in the gasket, but this went beyond normal wear and tear. Three days of trying everything (Concorbium, bleach, baking soda paste, etc…) has done nothing to remove the smell or the mold stains.

I have learned my lesson, and I now know I should be more thorough in my move-out inspections. So there is no need to point that out. But I am hoping other DC landlords who have been in similar situations (i.e., discovered damage after returning the deposit) can provide me with some feedback. Did you pursue damages through small claims court or some other mechanism? And is it even worth it to try this in a tenant-friendly jurisdiction like DC?”

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