A landlord had to let my daughter out of her lease because of Domestic Violence. She made it difficult and, when my daughter moved manager avoided her for a walk through. We cleaned and, took pics to prove it. Manager also kept deposit, which by Washington law they can't. They also charged a large amount for cleaning that won't prove. When she disputed the charges and, wouldn't pay without proof, they turned her over to collections, who didn't listen any better. Collections then turned it in to Credit bureaus as bad credit. What should we do?
Sue in small claims court for double the amount of the deposit, plus court costs, plus any attorney fees you pay, or hire a local attorney do bring the case for you.
In Washington, a landlord may only keep a damage deposit for damages beyond normal wear and tear. In this particular case it seems as though they may be trying to say that your daugher illegally broke the lease. Whether this is the case or not would be dependent upon whether she qualified to legally break the lease under RCW 59.18.575. If she validly broke the lease, the deposit should be treated the same as any other deposit.
This answer is for informational purposes only and should not be construed to establish an attorney client relationship. Before taking any legal action, it is always advisable to discuss your specific situation with an attorney.
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