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Can a landlord send a tenant to a collection agency if costs exceed the security deposit?

Los Angeles, CA |

I recently moved out of a northern California apartment after graduating. My parents and best friend stayed for the graduation and helped me pack/clean the 700 sq. ft. place. Between the four of us, we scrubbed the walls, bathroom, inside the oven, fridge, etc. In other words, we cleaned the heck out of the place and it was spotless when I left. There were a few nail holes and a dark spot on the carpet so I expected it to be deducted from my security deposit (maybe 100.00), and I would get the rest back. Three weeks later, I received a letter in the mail that not only was I not getting a dime back for my security, but he was charging me another $175.00 and was threatening to take me to a collections agency if I didn't pay. Is he legally allowed to do this?

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Attorney answers 1


Disclaimer: The materials provided below are informational and should not be relied upon as legal advice.

That depends on certain factors. Did the landlord provide you an itemized statement of all charges within 21 days after you moved out? Are the charges reasonable? If so, landlord may charge you for the additional damage costs. You should consult your own lawyer to protect your legal rights.