Apartment Move Out charges

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Long time lurker first time poster.

I have been a good resident at an apartment complex in AZ for 2.5 years and always paid rent on time etc. Now the apartment has few cleaning related issues while moving in and I had documented it in the checklist. Fast forward to last month when I moved out. I cleaned the apartment pretty well.,although I'll admit that few walls were dirty and needed paint etc. The apartment was in no shabbier condition than when I moved in.
Apartment company sends me a letter and charges me more than $400 for carpet replacement saying there were 2 year left on it and it had to be replaced because of the condition. I had steam cleaned the carpet while moving out and I have photos to prove it. The carpet was definitely in a good condition and could easily go for another 2 years.
I called the management company and was told that their appraiser deemed the carpet useless and they had to replace it. They also said that since I did not get the apartment inspected, I am pretty much out of luck. Should I choose to go to the court, their appraiser's word will stand and my pictures will not prove anything.

I definitely want to contest the charges and I need few pointers on where to start.
1. Can I ask them to provide invoices of carpet replacements done to verify that they really changed it and charged me appropriate amount?
2. Even if they provide receipts, I'd want to contest it in the small claims court. Where do I start?

Appreciate help from FWF.

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Even though you say you steam cleaned it, were there any stains, tears, worn areas, etc?

Ask the complex for an itemized bill of the charges they took out of your deposit. On a side note, why did you not do a move out walkthrough with management?

There were no spots or stains. I made sure to remove all of them.

LiquidSilver said:   Ask the complex for an itemized bill of the charges they took out of your deposit. On a side note, why did you not do a move out walkthrough with management?
Thanks. I know it sounds lame but I was too tired from moving and cleaning that I just handed the keys. They also did not ask me if I wanted to do a walk through. Whose responsibility is it to request a walk through?

allenedge said:   LiquidSilver said:   Ask the complex for an itemized bill of the charges they took out of your deposit. On a side note, why did you not do a move out walkthrough with management?
Thanks. I know it sounds lame but I was too tired from moving and cleaning that I just handed the keys. They also did not ask me if I wanted to do a walk through. Whose responsibility is it to request a walk through?

i think you know the answer to that question.

as an aside, "props" (pun intended) to the management company for depreciating the carpet appropriately. now, i dont know if they screwed you on the deal, but at least they are trying to do it correctly. i think that's a 7-year life, so they are saying it cost them 7/2 x 400 = 1400 to replace. ask them for the bill for $1400. if they have it, then your odds with the judge in small claims worsen.

the shitty part is that 5-year old carpet SHOULD have some wear to it...it's only 2 years from end of life...but the decision about how much life is left before "needing" replacement is not cut and dry AT ALL. it is, like they say, your word against theirs. they might not have dated pictures...and if they dont, your odds improve. get some dates on your photos, btw. dont suppose you held up a newspaper...?

I had a similar situation, never went to court but fought with my apartment thru the BBB and got the collection dropped from my credit report.

I would ask them for a itemized bill, if they do send you to a collection agency ask the collection agency for proof that the debt is owed via a certified letter and file disputes. Just keep pressure on them and see if they cave. Court may be a viable option since technically they have to pay you several times the original deposit, in most states, if they withhold your deposit in bad faith. Problem with court is if you lose you are out more money. I threatened court in my letters, but never wanted to follow thru since they have more experience and the burden of proof rested on me.

Good luck, I will never surrender keys without being present for a walk through again.

renters always think they left the place in better condition than it actually is

treasurebeacon said:   renters always think they left the place in better condition than it actually is

True.

Also OP make sure you look through your original lease carefully and read up on the sections about cleaning and move out. If you do decide to go to court get copies of anything you need before letting the apartment know. If you haven't already get a copy of your lease, move in checklist, payment history, and anything else you signed that they have and review it. Don't want to have to get that from them after they know you are taking them to court.

you say you steamed the carpets? did you use a cleveland steamroller? if you used that kind, then you should have been charged a fine.

treasurebeacon said:   renters always think they left the place in better condition than it actually is

slumlords always want renters to pay for regular wear and tear


ha ha ... I can make a stupid generalization too

germanpope said:   treasurebeacon said:   renters always think they left the place in better condition than it actually is

slumlords always want renters to pay for regular wear and tear


ha ha ... I can make a stupid generalization too


if you rent in the slums, then you opted for the slumlord, if you don't, then your landlord has no interest in making you pay for things and would rather be able to rent the place out again sooner and not have to do any repair/replacement work.

stupid generalization is for stupid people

treasurebeacon said:   germanpope said:   treasurebeacon said:   renters always think they left the place in better condition than it actually is

slumlords always want renters to pay for regular wear and tear


ha ha ... I can make a stupid generalization too


if you rent in the slums, then you opted for the slumlord, if you don't, then your landlord has no interest in making you pay for things and would rather be able to rent the place out again sooner and not have to do any repair/replacement work.

stupid generalization is for stupid people



I don't rent.

I am merely reminding you that you are just an individual and your renter is an individual. Get over yourself and your pompous attitude about how renters are.

Your nothing special. You are a guy that has a place to rent. Big f'en deal.

Thanks. The problem in my case is I have a deposit of $200 so even if it goes to collection, I am still out for $200. I am just thinking of pursuing this in small claims court. Yes, lesson learnt.. I'll never give keys without inspection.
aebcoat said:   I had a similar situation, never went to court but fought with my apartment thru the BBB and got the collection dropped from my credit report.

I would ask them for a itemized bill, if they do send you to a collection agency ask the collection agency for proof that the debt is owed via a certified letter and file disputes. Just keep pressure on them and see if they cave. Court may be a viable option since technically they have to pay you several times the original deposit, in most states, if they withhold your deposit in bad faith. Problem with court is if you lose you are out more money. I threatened court in my letters, but never wanted to follow thru since they have more experience and the burden of proof rested on me.

Good luck, I will never surrender keys without being present for a walk through again.

When did I imply that I am better?.. I don't recall saying that I have a place to rent nor I am special.

speaking based on statistics is not the same as making a blind assumption.

A property manager will see hundreds of tenants in his/hers professional career, and a renter will only see a few landlords in his/her entire rental life time. Who do you think can provide better statistical data relevant to the discussion here?

germanpope said:   treasurebeacon said:   germanpope said:   treasurebeacon said:   renters always think they left the place in better condition than it actually is

slumlords always want renters to pay for regular wear and tear


ha ha ... I can make a stupid generalization too


if you rent in the slums, then you opted for the slumlord, if you don't, then your landlord has no interest in making you pay for things and would rather be able to rent the place out again sooner and not have to do any repair/replacement work.

stupid generalization is for stupid people



I don't rent.

I am merely reminding you that you are just an individual and your renter is an individual. Get over yourself and your pompous attitude about how renters are.

Your nothing special. You are a guy that has a place to rent. Big f'en deal.

When I moved in to my old apartments, they gave us a inspection checklist to go over each room. Then we turned that in so we wouldn't be held liable for anything we didn't cause.

When we moved out, we deep cleaned the rooms. Aside from crayon marks all over the walls in my sons bedroom, the other areas were good to go. When we turned in our keys, the manager informed us there would be a $75 steamclean/deep clean charge that would be taken out of our SD. We were fine with that, and that was all they took out. The rest of our SD was refunded.

We had a good repoir with our managers though. We saw them everyday. Guess it depends on where you live.

allenedge said:   I had steam cleaned the carpet while moving out and I have photos to prove it. The carpet was definitely in a good condition and could easily go for another 2 years.
Does your municipality have anyone that deals with landlord-tenant relations? When I had a similar dispute with a landlord, I emailed pics of the carpet to an employee at my city's human relations commission, which regulates the city's landlord-tenant ordinance and conducts mediation for landlords and tenants, and he replied that the condition of the carpet represented normal wear and tear. I forwarded this to my landlord, and ended up getting my $ back.

You should also look up your state's and/or municipality's landlord-tenant laws - e.g. the landlord might be required to show you receipts for the carpet.

treasurebeacon said:   A property manager will see hundreds of tenants in his/hers professional career, and a renter will only see a few landlords in his/her entire rental life time. Who do you think can provide better statistical data relevant to the discussion here?

whichever one is the statistician you dummy, now get lost

GeneralKlinger said:   We had a good repoir with our managers though. We saw them everyday. Guess it depends on where you live.
rapport?

(not grammar nazi-ing; that one's just entertaining)

aebcoat said:   I had a similar situation, never went to court but fought with my apartment thru the BBB and got the collection dropped from my credit report.

I would ask them for a itemized bill, if they do send you to a collection agency ask the collection agency for proof that the debt is owed via a certified letter and file disputes. Just keep pressure on them and see if they cave. Court may be a viable option since technically they have to pay you several times the original deposit, in most states, if they withhold your deposit in bad faith. Problem with court is if you lose you are out more money. I threatened court in my letters, but never wanted to follow thru since they have more experience and the burden of proof rested on me.

Good luck, I will never surrender keys without being present for a walk through again.

who said anything about collections? sounds like your PM saw damage exceeding the deposit and wanted to charge you over and above.

bad faith would be super difficult to prove in this case.

like i said, request the $1400 carpet bill....that MFer better be not one penny less than 3.5X their charge, too.

Read this carefully (particularly paragraphs D through F of the section on security deposits) to figure out what your rights and remedies are. Also, check whether your city has its own landlord-tenant ordinance.

I am unclear on something. Say we have a $1400 carpet that is supposed to last 7 years. If the first tenant (brand new carpet) does not do anything to the carpet other than regular wear & tear for, say, the 2 years he stays, is he supposed to pay $400 (2/7 carpet value) even if the carpet is not changed after he leaves, as it has another 5 years to go?
If yes, why? I mean if the floors are supposed to last 20 years will he pay 2/20 of their installation value, same for roof walls etc? Does the landlord expect the tenants to pay for regular maintenance?
If not, then why should the last tenant in the carpet's run gets a bill, even if it is not the full value of the carpet, just his "tenancy share". Either all tenants have to pay for regular wear & tear or none.

Ecuadorgr said:   I am unclear on something. Say we have a $1400 carpet that is supposed to last 7 years. If the first tenant (brand new carpet) does not do anything to the carpet other than regular wear & tear for, say, the 2 years he stays, is he supposed to pay $400 (2/7 carpet value) even if the carpet is not changed after he leaves, as it has another 5 years to go?
If yes, why? I mean if the floors are supposed to last 20 years will he pay 2/20 of their installation value, same for roof walls etc? Does the landlord expect the tenants to pay for regular maintenance?
If not, then why should the last tenant in the carpet's run gets a bill, even if it is not the full value of the carpet, just his "tenancy share". Either all tenants have to pay for regular wear & tear or none.

Tenants dont have to pay for normal wear and tear. But if the carpet has to be replaced earlier than "normal schedule", tenant is responsible for that. In OPs case, LL is alleging that the carpet needs to be replaced when OP vacated --- 5 years of carpet life, instead of the usual 7 year lifetime. Hence OP is responsible for the "lost 2 years out of 7 years of carpet lifetime".

treasurebeacon said:   renters always think they left the place in better condition than it actually is


I know for sure that I left my apartment of 5 yrs in excellent condition. So much so that the rental property management (fairly large company) didn't even bother to clean the apartment before new tenant moved in, yet they took my $175 for so called cleaning fee.

solarUS said:   
who said anything about collections? sounds like your PM saw damage exceeding the deposit and wanted to charge you over and above.

bad faith would be super difficult to prove in this case.

like i said, request the $1400 carpet bill....that MFer better be not one penny less than 3.5X their charge, too.


He did not mention collections, I figure if they sent the OP a bill he refuses to pay and they kept his deposit then collections will be the next step. My complex refused to work with me at all until they had sent me to a collections agency. I hope the OP can get it sorted before it goes to collections, but that may be where it goes.

aebcoat said:   solarUS said:   
who said anything about collections? sounds like your PM saw damage exceeding the deposit and wanted to charge you over and above.

bad faith would be super difficult to prove in this case.

like i said, request the $1400 carpet bill....that MFer better be not one penny less than 3.5X their charge, too.


He did not mention collections, I figure if they sent the OP a bill he refuses to pay and they kept his deposit then collections will be the next step. My complex refused to work with me at all until they had sent me to a collections agency. I hope the OP can get it sorted before it goes to collections, but that may be where it goes.

again, wtf? nobody said anything about a bill, either. they just withheld his deposit, either wholly or in part, and he finds it unjust. your scenario is quite a bit different and more complicated. OP is not gonna go to collections. they are not claiming the damage exceeds the deposit, unlike your case.

solarUS said:   aebcoat said:   solarUS said:   
who said anything about collections? sounds like your PM saw damage exceeding the deposit and wanted to charge you over and above.

bad faith would be super difficult to prove in this case.

like i said, request the $1400 carpet bill....that MFer better be not one penny less than 3.5X their charge, too.


He did not mention collections, I figure if they sent the OP a bill he refuses to pay and they kept his deposit then collections will be the next step. My complex refused to work with me at all until they had sent me to a collections agency. I hope the OP can get it sorted before it goes to collections, but that may be where it goes.

again, wtf? nobody said anything about a bill, either. they just withheld his deposit, either wholly or in part, and he finds it unjust. your scenario is quite a bit different and more complicated. OP is not gonna go to collections. they are not claiming the damage exceeds the deposit, unlike your case.

Read the OP; OP got charged $400.
allenedge said:   Apartment company sends me a letter and charges me more than $400 for carpet replacement saying there were 2 year left on it and it had to be replaced because of the condition.

ChemElady said:   treasurebeacon said:   renters always think they left the place in better condition than it actually is


I know for sure that I left my apartment of 5 yrs in excellent condition. So much so that the rental property management (fairly large company) didn't even bother to clean the apartment before new tenant moved in, yet they took my $175 for so called cleaning fee.


how did you know they did not clean it?

uutxs said:   solarUS said:   aebcoat said:   solarUS said:   
who said anything about collections? sounds like your PM saw damage exceeding the deposit and wanted to charge you over and above.

bad faith would be super difficult to prove in this case.

like i said, request the $1400 carpet bill....that MFer better be not one penny less than 3.5X their charge, too.


He did not mention collections, I figure if they sent the OP a bill he refuses to pay and they kept his deposit then collections will be the next step. My complex refused to work with me at all until they had sent me to a collections agency. I hope the OP can get it sorted before it goes to collections, but that may be where it goes.

again, wtf? nobody said anything about a bill, either. they just withheld his deposit, either wholly or in part, and he finds it unjust. your scenario is quite a bit different and more complicated. OP is not gonna go to collections. they are not claiming the damage exceeds the deposit, unlike your case.

Read the OP; OP got charged $400.
allenedge said:   Apartment company sends me a letter and charges me more than $400 for carpet replacement saying there were 2 year left on it and it had to be replaced because of the condition.


actually, several posts down from the OP, OP clarified and stated:

Thanks. The problem in my case is I have a deposit of $200 so even if it goes to collection, I am still out for $200. I am just thinking of pursuing this in small claims court. Yes, lesson learnt.. I'll never give keys without inspection.

don't some states or cities have guidelines for how long items are supposed to last or what wear and tear is considered normal?

I dunno, I live in california, so there's a reg for ALL that stuff. make sure to cross ref it against what you were charged.

angeezee said:   uutxs said:   solarUS said:   aebcoat said:   solarUS said:   
who said anything about collections? sounds like your PM saw damage exceeding the deposit and wanted to charge you over and above.

bad faith would be super difficult to prove in this case.

like i said, request the $1400 carpet bill....that MFer better be not one penny less than 3.5X their charge, too.


He did not mention collections, I figure if they sent the OP a bill he refuses to pay and they kept his deposit then collections will be the next step. My complex refused to work with me at all until they had sent me to a collections agency. I hope the OP can get it sorted before it goes to collections, but that may be where it goes.

again, wtf? nobody said anything about a bill, either. they just withheld his deposit, either wholly or in part, and he finds it unjust. your scenario is quite a bit different and more complicated. OP is not gonna go to collections. they are not claiming the damage exceeds the deposit, unlike your case.

Read the OP; OP got charged $400.
allenedge said:   Apartment company sends me a letter and charges me more than $400 for carpet replacement saying there were 2 year left on it and it had to be replaced because of the condition.


actually, several posts down from the OP, OP clarified and stated:

Thanks. The problem in my case is I have a deposit of $200 so even if it goes to collection, I am still out for $200. I am just thinking of pursuing this in small claims court. Yes, lesson learnt.. I'll never give keys without inspection.

not sure how i missed that. i guess i assumed that the deposit would exceed $400.

what apartment has a $200 deposit??

angeezee said:   actually, several posts down from the OP, OP clarified and stated:

Thanks. The problem in my case is I have a deposit of $200 so even if it goes to collection, I am still out for $200. I am just thinking of pursuing this in small claims court. Yes, lesson learnt.. I'll never give keys without inspection.

That is correct. He is billed $400 for the carpet. He forfeits the $200 deposit and is on the hook for the remaining $200, which if he doesnt pay could potentially go to collections. Regardless, there is no reason for "nobody said anything about a bill" as solarUS stated. Some folks are too quick to red posts without reading the OP.

solarUS said:   what apartment has a $200 deposit??

Mine is $220 I think. I chose mine when I moved out to AZ because the termination fee is 1.5 months of rent and deposit is only ~$200. I moved and didn't clean or anything and I still got back $140 of my deposit.

It's super nice when you're exhausted from moving to just leave the apartment.

solarUS said:   
not sure how i missed that. i guess i assumed that the deposit would exceed $400.

what apartment has a $200 deposit??


Unfortunately often your, my, our...competition.

treasurebeacon said:   ChemElady said:   treasurebeacon said:   renters always think they left the place in better condition than it actually is


I know for sure that I left my apartment of 5 yrs in excellent condition. So much so that the rental property management (fairly large company) didn't even bother to clean the apartment before new tenant moved in, yet they took my $175 for so called cleaning fee.


how did you know they did not clean it?



An employee did a walk through with me and everything was marked excellent. They are closed on Weekends. I went back by the apartment on Monday morning to do a final mail check, just as a couple other employees went up. By then the water company had turned off the water as I requested. I overheard them saying there is no water there but since no cleaning is necessary new tenant can move in. New tenant was in by Monday afternoon.


I lived alone and didn't have any kids or pets to stain carpet or mark walls, don't smoke or drink or have parties etc. Believe it or not there are a number of very clean responsible tenants, like me.



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