We lived at a rental for 2 years. Upon move-in we did a walk-through and signed a written checklist. We all signed it and the landlord kept it and never gave us the copy. He was present for the move-out inspection but when we asked about the checklist he told us he lost it. After the inspection we asked him if everything looked fine and he said everything looked great. 30 days later he sends us an itemized statement charging us for damages in excess of our security deposit.. I took a video on the move-out date and everything looked fine to me. Also, he never pointed out these alleged damages during the walk-through. What do I do?
Criminal Defense Attorney
Where is the security deposit? If your landlord still has it and they claim the entire thing, you certainly have a claim to recover some or all of it. A landlord doesn't get to use their imagination to determine what they're owed.
If you received your entire deposit back and then you got a bill, your landlord has another problem. Why did he return the deposit if money was still owed? In either event, unless your landlord has more to offer on why he should keep some or all of the deposit, you may have a valid claim to recover at least the deposit.
That being said, there's nothing stopping your landlord from sending the issue to collections or bringing a lawsuit, either of which can have negative effects on your credit and/or ability to get an apartment in the future. So while based on your facts the landlord's case may be weak, that's not to say he can't give you trouble either. I would talk to your landlord directly and see if you two can't come to a mutually satisfactory resolution. It will certainly be less stressful, less expensive, and faster than any other outcome in the long run. Good luck.
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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Real Estate Attorney
I agree with the previous answer and would add, the landlord failed to give you the list within 14 days and is therefore not entitled to keep the deposit. RCW 59.18.280
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
Landlord / Tenant Lawyer
When you take him to small claims, you can ask the court to award you twice your deposit. I have a couple of legal guides on Avvo on this subject. Hope they help you. Elizabeth Powell
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