Tennent vacated my property, during final inspection, there were damages of bleach spots and red stains on carpets, wall & cabinet damage she claimed in writing was caused by her refrigerator, uncleaned carpeting she claims she has done as well as provided kitchen appliances which specifically stated on contact and moving instructions to take care of. The charges were properly deducted from her deposite which was returned, but now she wants mostly the remainder of her deposit returned claiming property was cleaned adn that she did not cause any damages by refrigerator and blamed me for not providing habitable living as keeping up with property. Home was only 3 years new and was not problem when i lived in home. Is this right for her to do this even though i have the proof of damages?
Real Estate Attorney
If you properly documented the cleaning and repair costs under Civil Code Section 1950.5 you should owe nothing and will prevail in a small claims lawsuit.
Damages if you lose are only twice the amount withheld, not three times as suggested by my colleague.
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If you don't think that she deserves the money back, then you should contest her story. If you have pictures of the damages, as well as invoices from your vendors and contractors, that will be good proof. Be aware, however, that if a tenant is able to show that a landlord improperly held their security deposit, they can be awarded damages of three times the amount withheld.