We had someone come and clean the carpet prior to move out. Also 2 months after we moved in there was a leak that has caused water damage to 3 rooms (the 4th room the landlord replaced the entire carpet in the bedroom because of the damage). We spent hours (as we had to take a day off of work) using a shop vac to get as much of the water up as possible. They had someone come and put fans and dehumidifiers and then we steam cleaned the carpets after it was all said and done. They are now trying to take out $225 of our deposit for "carpet cleaning" and we do not feel it is our responsibility since we did what we could during and after the flood to prevent damage and had the carpets cleaned prior to move out. Just wondering if this is worth fighting over.
Yes, unless something unusual happened, carpet cleaning is routine maintenance that is part of turning the property and inappropriate to charge the tenant who is moving out. If you don't hire an attorney quickly, be sure to properly object to the claim on your deposit and if you can't work it out, pay for a consultation. Some real estate attorneys will charge you a low fee for disputing the matter and then if suit is filed, defer payment of attorney's fees until after the case or, if your claim is very strong, it is possible to negotiate a contingent fee.
The dispute needs to be worth it to you as you will likely be required to pay for court costs out of pocket pending finalization of the case.
Call around and consult with some good local tenant attorneys.
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$225? I hate to say it, but you did good! Nowadays, not returning all or part of the deposit is a game many Landlords play. And it's a fact-based dispute, so we can't really address it on line (no idea who would win); but you should know that the only place you can resolve it (unless you both agree) is in court; and if you go to court, the loser pays the winners legal fees and costs, amounts that are bound to be far more than the deposit so you have to be pretty sure you are going to win before rolling those dice. Most lawyers who take these cases on contingency only do so if the landlord has failed to follow the strict statutory protocols (which the tenant must follow as well). This sort of evaluation cannot be performed here on line. Best to consult a good local tenants lawyer. Hope this helps. gsg
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