Landlord withholding part of security deposit
I moved out of my old apartment two weeks ago. A few days ago I received my security deposit in the mail. The check was for $445 - my security deposit was $500.
I had done the walkthrough with the apartment manager and the only deduction he noted was $5 for the oven. So I should have received $495 back.
I called the apartment manager to ask why the additional $50 had been taken. He said that between two and three years ago the landlady started charging tenants $50 to have the blinds professionally cleaned when they moved out. This is not stated in the lease - incoming tenants are told this when they sign the lease.
I moved in four years ago, before the mandatory cleaning charge, so my apartment manager said he was 99 percent sure I'd get my money back.
But the landlady says that she's been charging for the blinds-cleaning forever and she'll "think about" returning my $50.
What recourse do I have?
I've found out that under Washington state's landlord-tenant law, the term deposit can only be applied to money that will be refunded to the tenant. Since she's taking $50 automatically it's no longer considered a deposit, is it?
Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.