Who is right?

erickakJanuary 20, 2010

ok so we moved out of our rental 35-36 days ago. He had written me about 5 days after we moved out and asked about an issue with the dryer to which I replied and never got an email back at all. I had to write the landlord to find out where my deposit was 30 days after we moved out to which he said he was finalizing the list and would get it to me that week (I contacted him on a Wednesday and I didn't get a list form him until the following Tuesday) I got the list to which I asked him questions.

He did mention on day 30 that the sewer and water bill totaled such and such. But the rest of the bill he sent was on mind you day 35 was as followed:

3 sets of blinds - $100 (finally after asking a few times he told me the blinds cost $26 each and the rest of the money was installation, not professionally done either)

window sill that he claims was severely damaged, which I don't recall seeing anything but a spot on it that was there when we moved in, he said it had to be replaced at the cost of $107.45

Toilet seat replaced (it was fine all day, unless the movers broke it by accident) at a cost of $35 (he finally after asking several times what the cost was, since I just replaced a seat in my own bathroom for a whole $12 and 5 mins of installation. Also replaced his upstairs bathroom seat at the cost of $12 and 5 mins, and didn't make him pay for it. he said the seat was $32, which is crazy for just a simple seat)

broken dryer sensor - $50, the dryer for most of the time I was there needed to have a towel at the door to hold it with enough pressure, so ok it was a sensor that was broken that stopped it from working without the towel

Then the killer was when we lived there we made him get a plumber because the bathtub faucet dripped and since we were paying the water bill, wanted that fixed. So he called a plumber who had to come 2 times because the parts he needed were not normal grade but builder so he had to work on getting the parts he needed. The plumber showed me what he fixed and my kids only used the bathtub and never the shower part since they are little and got baths 2-3 times a week. He is trying to charge me $150 for a new faucet, asked about it since it was just replaced and he said that his plumber (not the one from who put it in) and a contractor said only way it could be broken in 10 months is from mis-use and normal wear and tear. I asked him more and said we only used the bathtub a few times a week, and he said it doesn't close all the way when you use the shower. I said we never used the shower and the plumber wasn't fixing that issue, so no idea what he is talking about.

So all in all he is trying to keep close to $700 of our deposit for these repairs. Our lease said he had to give us our deposit and a list within 30 days of us moving. Well as I mentioned we moved 36 days ago and he didn't give me the list until day 35. So according to law we can sue for our full deposit and not pay anything, or we can sue for double and he could counter for his expenses he passed along to us and we could still walk away with more money then our deposit. He doesn't seem to have an issue with court, since he is trying to say that he sent the check already to us, which of course won't get cashed if we don't agree with the explanation.

What would you do?

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I'm a LL. Some of what I'd question:
Why toilet seats cost $32 & $35 ea. You're right: a basic toilet seat can be had for $12 or less. (I put a new one in with each new tenant.)

Dryer: in my state, if appliances are provided, LL has to maintain. A sensor going out is a mechanical issue. (Versus a knob broken off or bent hinge on door, e.g. something caused by human misuse.) Don't see how he can charge you for mechanical failure of his appliance, sensors go out all the time.

Bathtub faucet: one does not consult a 2nd plumber and a contractor over a bathroom faucet. Their time is money, it would cost major $$ over what is a relatively inexpensive part. Could it get broken in 10 months from misuse? Yes. Normal wear and tear? Heck no. (Unless it was a real cheapo brand.) I have tub faucets in rentals that are much older and doing fine. If the faucet isn't closing all the way when shower is in use, that sounds like a connection issue w/new faucet (had that happen to one I installed).

LLs are bound by law in most states to provide an accounting of Sec Dep funds used and refund any unused within xx days, varies by State. If your State law says he's only got 30 days, but didn't even provide the list till day 35, you've probably got grounds to appeal this. Did he actually send a check? What State are you in?

    Bookmark   January 21, 2010 at 10:11AM
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