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Our landlord is claiming that we owe them money after move out. Can we dispute it? What happens if we do not pay it?

Reston, VA |

We moved in on 6/8/2009. The apartment had a lingering smell of cigarettes and stale air. We complained constantly. The smell penetrated everything we owned including furniture and clothing. They painted while we were in the apartment which caused migraines and sickness. Then they tried shampooing our carpets and using an ozone machine, which forced us to leave our apartment and take off of work. Nothing worked.

After move out, they are demaning that we pay them $295 for cleaning and shampooing the carpet. Can we file a complaint since they did nothing to help us with our condition - or what happens if we just do not pay it?

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Attorney answers 1


Short answer -
1. Yes, you can always dispute the charge with a good faith belief that the balance is not valid.

2.There is no law forbidding a landlord from charging a cleaning charge after you move out. What will determine whether or not the charge is allowed will be your lease and your release at final walk through.

3. If you don't pay, the landlord could send your debt to collections, file a lawsuit against you, obtain a judgment and collect on that judgment. This can also severely impact your credit.

You have presented several incidents which mitigate or even negate your liability. I would be happy to give you a free consultation to further discuss your situation. and

Good Luck,

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Sammid Mansoor, Esq
Mansoor Law Firm, PLLC
116 R Edwards Ferry RD NE
Leesburg, VA 20176


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