Is it legal for a rental community to sue you for cleanup and minor repairs after you already?

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forfeited a security deposit. I moved out cleaned as well as gave them notice one month prior to the lease renewal. I lived there two years and
they were at best anal about every little thing. They demanded once that I paint my car and hounded me about it until I bought another one so I was expecting them to take the deposit for two very small cigarette burns on the carpet but now I am fearful that these predatory landlords who are asking for an additional three hundred dollars and put this on my credit report if I don’t pay it. can they do this?
Yes I forfieted the deposit because the two small burns were mine and my fault and I assumed that would cover it. Other than that there were no major damages whatsoever. Absolutely nothing else that’s why I am taken aback. The carpet itself is cleaned by them every year. And I noticed when new tenants move in they have a maintenece person that repaints the walls and lays new carpet anyway.
My point is I am not trying to get the security deposit back shouldn’t that have covered the two burns on the carpet instead of an additional $ 350.00 for damages that small.

3 Comments
  1. Reply
    Killer Queen
    July 31, 2011 at 10:52 pm

    They can unless you can prove that you left the apt in good condition. This is a common scam that apt complexes do. You should always take photos before you move in and then when you move out, along with a checklist. If you have proof, you can take them to small claims court and recover twice, sometimes treble the amount of the deposit. Too many people just forfeit the deposit thinking that will satisfy them.

  2. Reply
    Emily & her mommy love Da Bears!
    July 31, 2011 at 11:44 pm

    You should have received a copy of your lease. Read it thoroughly, especially to see if it says anything about maintaining the appearance of your car-that’s just plain odd. The lease will let you know what is expected of you when you move out. They may have even given you a move-out checklist when you signed your lease (ours did) which specifically listed EVERYTHING they expected to be done upon move-out. I’m curious why you forfeited the security deposit. Usually the security deposit should cover any clean-up or repairs unless the deposit wasn’t sufficient to pay for said clean-up and repairs. If you caused major damage to their property, then yes, they can sue you.

  3. Reply
    loser1051
    August 1, 2011 at 12:34 am

    In California, they can not keep the deposit unless you have cost them major repairs. All housing needs maintenance, that should not cost the renter. However you admit that you caused cigarette burn holes. That should cost you because it is beyond normal repair. Contact your Fair Housing and Labor Department of your state.

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