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Former landlord wrongly took out rent after I moved out; wants to charge me to return it, also is claiming ridiculous charges.

Lakewood, WA |

So I'm military and I just got moved from Washington to Colorado. My former landlord wrongly took out rent from my bank account while i'm on vacation and is trying to charge me to return it in a timely manner.

Also my original deposit was 1250, they are trying to claim that the professional cleaners and carpet cleaners I hired didn't do a good enough job and it's going to cost over $1600 to fix the place. I have pictures of how good we left the place and receipts to prove it was all professionally done. Some issues (painting over repaired holes) weren't done, but not by choice. No paint was left and I even though I asked I was never told the paint color so I could fix the issue. Now they want to charge me to paint each entire wall.

Any advice? I am currently in Arkansas on vacation.

Attorney Answers 2


Please don't hesitate to contact me if you want more help. Unless your contract states that the landlord can charge you to return wrongfully taken rent, then you are right and he should return it all.

As to gouging you for the deposit, they figure you are gone, they are local and they can get away with basically whatever they can concoct.

You don't have to be here to sue your landlord here. The lawsuit is here because the property is here, but what you need is local counsel. I've written extensively on the landlord Theory of Enhanced Returns based on failing to return the place to pristine condition, when it was never pristine when you moved in in the first place. This is so common!

Elizabeth Powell

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Now it's been past the 14 days required by WA law to provide the detailed bill of the charges and we don't have it and our tenant online portal account has been disabled. I took a video with a newspaper with a clear date to prove the account has been disabled... what should I do now?



Sorry, to specify, the only thing we receive is an email saying new charges have been posted in the tenant portal on their website. It just gives an amount and then says details are in the portal... But again, the account is disabled and it's beyond the 14 days now.

Elizabeth Rankin Powell

Elizabeth Rankin Powell


RCW 59 18 280 says it has to be mailed to you, so the posting to the website is likely insufficient.


I agree completely with Ms. Powell and would encourage you to contact her at once.
Good Luck

Only If and until you and I sign an Agreement for Legal Services, I am not your attorney. These answers are provided for informational and/or novelty purposes

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