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The landlord sent me an statement regards my move out, but the price is overcharged.

Pomona, CA |

i received my landlords move out statement, they charged me overprice, but they have invoices. is there any thing i can do? get my over cost money back? I talk to the landlord about it, She didnt respond to my question. She just keep sending me invoices.

the damage is cost before i moved in. but i dont have prove. i didint take pics and didnt report to the office. She charged me $120 for apt clean $60 for clean the carpet. $260 for paint. $ 450 for the apt repair. i dont get the painting part. The wall was no scartchs at all. the inspector came he said the wall and the carpet was in great condition. i asked the landlord to send me proof for the painting. but she just keep sending me the move out and utility statement and other invoices. and what is the worst senero? Can she countersue me? but she already deducted all the money from my security deposit. How much is the file fee for small claim court?

Attorney Answers 3


You can challenge the reasonableness of the cost of the deductions from your security deposit by suing the landlord in small claims. You should consider getting estimates from other business to back up your claim that the landlord's costs for repairing damage beyond normal wear and tear and/or cleaning were unreasonable.

Under Civil Code 1950(b), a landlord may only deduct the following items from your security deposit:
(1) The compensation of a landlord for a tenant's default in the
payment of rent.
(2) The repair of damages to the premises, exclusive of ordinary wear and tear, caused by the tenant or by a guest or licensee of the tenant.
(3) The cleaning of the premises upon termination of the tenancy necessary to return the unit to the same level of cleanliness it was in at the inception of the tenancy. (The amendments to this paragraph enacted by the act adding this sentence shall apply only to tenancies for which the tenant's right to occupy begins after January 1, 2003..)
(4) To remedy future defaults by the tenant in any obligation under the rental agreement to restore, replace, or return personal property or appurtenances, exclusive of ordinary wear and tear, if the security deposit is authorized to be applied thereto by the rental agreement.

Under Civil Code 1950.5(g), the landlord must provide an itemized statement of deductions indicating the amount and purpose of each deduction with copies of any invoices for outside work and/or materials. If the landlord or landlords employees did the work, then there should be documentation of the work performed, time spent and hourly rate charged.

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Your remedy is to take the landlord to small claims court. The filing fee is, I believe, $22.00. If you can show that she is charging you for work not done, work to repair pre-existing conditions, or work done that the inspector said did not have to be done, then the court may well award you double damages.

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primary issue when you go to small claims is whether or not any of the damage you caused to the apartment was "beyond normal wear and tear". The law is that the landlord may not charge the tenant for damage beyond normal wear and tear. This will be one bone of contention at trial.

I wonder, though, what you mean when you mention an "inspector". Was this someone sent by the landlord to inspect the apartment before you vacated? If so, this statement could be deemed an admission against interest by the landlord. If it was some county or other governmental inspector, you still may be able to get the testimony into evidence in small claims court (not any other court, though). If at all possible, have the inspector testify at trial about what he saw. You may bring another witness or two to describe the condition of the unit as of the date you vacated.

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the inspector is someone sent by the landlord.

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