Help!! My landlord is not only holding on to my deposit, he is trying to bill me for things that are not true!?

I rented from a coworker who owned the Condo but him and his son were listed as landlords on the contract.

Before I moved out, the carpets were steam cleaned and everything washable was scrubbed from ceiling to floor. There was only normal wear and tear on the carpets. The walls only had a few nail holes where pictures were hung and the paint was a reasonable wear and tear from living there for 1 yr and a half. No stains, no holes bigger than picture nail holes. The windows were cleaned from the inside. Because it was 2nd Fl living, I could not clean the outside and there were screens. One of the window had a crack made from what appeared like a rock hit it. But it was obvious that it was from the outside (2nd Fl window).

The back door was also crummy and had gotten stuck on me since day one, It would never slide open unless pushed forcibly.

The lease was due on the the 15th and the rent payment was mailed on the 13th each month. After the first months, I was told that my rent didnt make it by the 15th and was going to be charged $50. However when I wrote a letter to demand other payment options and even offered to physically drop it off at the landlords house or western union it, the landlord (father – my coworker) verbally said it was okay to be mailed postmarked by the 15th and no late fee was necessary to be paid – at all.

The garage has flourenscent lights that his HOA removed when they installed electronic garage doors. (I’m being charged as well)

Turns out, his anal son is now sending us a bill holding our $1300 deposit, saying it is for charges for washing ALL windows, inside and out, the broken-from-the-outside window, filling holes, and repainting the entire house, Charges for a “stripped” back door, charges for 14 out of 18 months worth of late fees ($50/month)

Now I supposedly owe them $1200 additional to them keeping my deposit. I am so angry and feel so taken advantage of. I cant afford an attorney. I have pictures I took of the place when I left to show how good of a condition it was in. I cant find all of my rent stubbs. My landlord was suppose to do a final walkthrough but kept saying to wait for his son the be availiable so I finally returned the keys at work to him to not have my deposit charged for extra days.. so we neer did a final walk through,.

I know this is like a book I just wrote, but I wanted to give accurate details… SOMEONE PULEEEAASE HELP ME WITH ADVICE ON WHAT TO DO.!!!

Posted in Landlord Tenant Law.


  1. I briefly skimmed your question, but a few years back My husband and I had a landlord that tried almost the same thing on us when we informed them of our move. We had no damage to our apartment except for usual wear and tear as stated in our lease, we did manage to get them to just keep our deposit, even though we didn’t see that as fair, we felt that we just wouldn’t have a case and were tired of their stress causing bullsh*t.
    now we take pictures before we move in, and after we move out, just incase we run into a problem again.

  2. You always have the right to dispute charges in court. This is a pretty simple process and you do not really need an attorney. No point in paying them. Do not let the lack of an attorney keep you from defending your rights.

  3. Did you take photos of the place before you moved out showing that it was in good condition?

    Did the landlord do a walk through of the property with you when you left?

    I tend to agree with you….painting, window washing are normal wear and tear. I don’t think you should be responsible for that.

    What paperwork do you have? Do you have your copy of the lease?

    At any rate – you may want to consider filing a small claims action against him (Judge Judy kind of thing in your local area). At least this way, the landlord will have to prove the damages to a magistrate to get paid for it. The local magistrate office would be able to walk you through the process.

  4. You have pictures…refer to those. Make copies of those pictures and send them to the father landlord, not the son, to show the condition of the apartment after you cleaned it.

    IDEALY you should have pictures of before you moved in so you can document that the door was broken and “normal wear and tear”.

    If it’s true that you left the apartment in good condition, then those pictures and your word should hold up in small claims court.

    I had something like that happen to me. I moved out of an apartment and cleaned it ridiculously, but the new tenants moved their washer and dryer into the unit before the landlord did a walk through. The new tenants scratched the hardwood floor moving their washer in, and I was blamed. I showed him the pictures I took after cleaning it so he new it was the new tenants and he refunded the deposit.

  5. This is a perfect example for small claims court.
    Either you take him to small claims to make them prove all the repairs warranted keeping your deposit, or have them take you and prove you owe them the deposit plus an additional $1200.
    No lawyer is needed in your case.

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