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Am I still entitled to my security deposit and escrow?

Washington, DC |

I moved from a complex where I resided for a little over 6 years (a little over 2 years in the unit at hand). I was due to receive $1935.08 from security deposit, escrow, and their interest. I received a letter saying that I owe the property $527.64 because of remaining damage fees. I was charged $1800 for carpet replacement, $200 for the stove being scratched, $251 for a cabinet being scratched, $176.71 for green marker ink in a drawer, $10 for a missing closet pole (it was never there, I have documentation to prove it), and $25 for one of the blinds being bent (no problem with that) All items are in very good working condition, I have pictures and video of my move out (because I turned in my keys, they said I forfeited their inspection). I'm being charged for normal wear and tear.

Today, I asked for an invoice of the charges and was not provided with one. I was told that they don't have it. I was also told that the carpet life was 10 years and its $2400 which would make me responsible for $1920 (which isn't the amount stated on the bill). As far as the cabinets and stove, they've told me that those are the amounts in which it would cost to replace those items. Here's a bit of extra info. My husband works for the property. He's the person who goes in and does the turnovers after move outs. He's informed me that they don't replace any appliances or cabinets unless they can't be used. Even then they take used appliances and materials from vacant units. They replace the carpets after every move out regardless of its condition. They also replace carpets every two to three years. If I had decided to remain on the property, I would have received new carpet exactly a month ago.

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Attorney answers 1


If you are being charged for normal wear and tear and you can prove the conditions of the unit upon move out, you could challenge the failure to return your deposit by writing a letter demanding the deposit be returned and/or filing a small claims case in DC Superior Court. The DC Small Claims Recource Center or Landlord Tenant Resource Center may be able to help you fill out the paperwork. If you can resolve it with the management company without going to court that will likely be less time consuming. You can also demand proof of the costs of the repairs. If you do nothing the company could try to send this "debt" to a collections agency and it will be easier to deal with before that happens.