We moved last week from our apartment (basement), and we made sure that everything was in great condition (including carpet). The final inspection of the apartment was made this Monday and the landlord said everything was fine. 6 days later, the landlord called us because the new tenants aren't happy with the carpet for certain "smell". She wants to charge us $200 for cleaning the WHOLE carpet, when the "problem" apparently only exists in certain spots. Is it fair to charge us even though the inspection has been done and we're not living there anymore?
This will probably depend on the language of your lease. Typically, a tenant isn't responsible for normal wear and tear. From the sounds of this problem, I would suspect that the "problem" is pet damage related. If there is damage beyond normal wear and tear (pet-damage would probably fall in this category); the landlord probably would be able to pursue a claim against you, but would have to prove that you caused the damage. The fact that the landlord previously signed could be a defense by showing that the landlord already accepted the condition of the property. However, if there was a hidden problem that could not reasonably have been discovered, then that defense may not work. As a practical matter, this will probably come down to whether or not there was a security deposit, and whether it has been returned. If your landlord has a security deposit, he/she will probably just hold back the $200, and it might not be worth it for you to sue to get that back. If the landlord doesn't have a security deposit, he/she will have to decide whether it is worth the time or money to come after you for $200.
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