My landlord wants to charge me because there was dust on the baseboards and b/c I had a few small nail holes in the wall. I was in the unit for 6 years. I did clean but I guess I missed some dust maybe. Ive been looking online but cant find anything on the gov Ct sites that is not vague. can somebody point me in the direction of the laws in CT that define normal "wear and tear" and the cleaning.
General Practice Lawyer
Unfortunately, the definition of "wear and tear" or "normal wear and tear" is not spelled out with any specificity. Usually, at least in the landlord / tenant context, it is a common-sense sort of definition. While it is common for a landlord to charge against a tenant's security deposit for general cleaning, in many cases where the premises was left in "broom-swept" condition will suffice - in short, dust is usually not sufficient to charge a cleaning fee for (there are always exceptions based upon the specific facts of a case).
Respecting nail holes, so long as the holes are insignificant, repairing them is almost so inexpensive as to not merit any charge whatsoever - in fact, the landlord should be required to re-paint the premises in its entirety based upon the length of your tenancy anyway: therefore, I am uncertain as to what amount the landlord might really be entitled to.
If you have followed the statute for the return of your security deposit and the landlord has, in fact, returned your deposit less charges and an itemized statement of those charges, you can pursue the matter in small claims court.
Depending on the amount of money involved, you may wish to consult an attorney for assistance. Either way, the courts have two brochures whihc may be of assistance: one deals with the rights of tenants and the other explains the small claims process. Both, I believe, are available on the Connecticut Judicial website http://www.jud.ct.gov