My former landlord is accusing me of urinating on the carpeting in my old apartment. I had steam cleaned the carpets on my final day before I moved out. I did not urinate on my carpets, and now my landlord is trying to force me to pay for carpet replacement. How do I proceed?
Real Estate Attorney
It would be best for you if you had taken photos of the apartment and the rugs when you moved in and then took another set of photos of the apartment and the rugs the day you moved out. This is something all tenants should do to avoid landlord's making claims for damage to items which the photos show were damaged when the tenant moved in, or was not present when the tenant moved out. Unless you have the above-described photos, there is little you can do - except to wait for the landlord to deduct the cost of new carpet from your security deposit. If he does that, he first is required by law to inform you within 30 days of your moving out that he has deducted the cost of new carpet from the security deposit and give a detailed account of his costs with paid receipts proving how much he paid. If the landlord does not comply with the 30-day rule (of course you would have needed to provide Landlord with your new address) you may be able to cover twice the amount the landlord deducted from the security deposit. In any event, make sure you keep a copy of the paid receipt for the steam cleaning you had done - to show how clean the carpets were.