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barristerinky
barristerinky, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 35335
Experience:  Attorney over 16 years, landlord 26 years
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My wife and I just ended a 1 year home lease and we

Customer Question

HI,
My wife and I just ended a 1 year home lease and we just received our security deposit back. We were returned $1095 when the deposit was $2750. There was not a walk through when we moved in and we had to create an itemized move-in form ourselves which noted all issues. In the lease agreement it did not state to have the carpet professionally cleaned or professional cleaners to clean the house.
The landlord held our deposit for three weeks and stated there was only exterior wall holes that needed to be repaired and the security deposit would be returned to us. However, today we received the check and also extra money was taken out for professional house and carpet cleaning that was not mentioned or required in the lease agreement.
Is this legal?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
This is the email we sent the owner.To all parties involved,After receiving the security deposit refund form for (32757 Lambeth St, Winchester) $1095 we have a few questions and concerns:
1. Why were we not provided an itemized list per section 4: Security Deposit “Within 21 days after Tenant vacates the Premises, Landlord shall: (1) furnish Tenant an itemized statement indicating the amount of any security deposit received and the basis for its disposition and supporting documentation as required by California Civil Code § 1950.5”Because we were not given an entity to contact, we contacted Anna Ricardo on April 28th, 2015 asking for information about when we would be getting the security deposit back. We were told there were some damages and we would receive it within 30 days from termination of lease. We then responded with asking if a property management company was handling the termination so that we could then communicate with them. Because we never heard back, about if there was a property management company handling the property we contacted Anna Ricardo again on May 4th, 2015 to get an updated status on the cost to fix the hole in the exterior wall. In any of the emails there was no mention or requirements that the house needed professional carpet cleaning, or house cleaning, which also is not stated in the lease agreement.2. Because we were not notified that this might possibly be an issue we were not allowed to fix the problem ourselves per section 29. TENANT’S OBLIGATIONS UPON VACATING PREMISES:C. Right to Pre-Move-Out Inspection and Repairs: (i) After giving or receiving notice of termination of a tenancy (C.A.R. Form NTT), or before the end of a lease, Tenant has the right to request that an inspection of the Premises take place prior to termination of the lease or rental (C.A.R. Form NRI). If Tenant requests such an inspection, Tenant shall be given an opportunity to remedy identified deficiencies prior to termination, consistent with the terms of this Agreement. (ii) Any repairs or alterations made to the Premises as a result of this inspection (collectively, “Repairs”) shall be made at Tenant’s expense. Repairs may be performed by Tenant or through others, who have adequate insurance and licenses and are approved by Landlord. The work shall comply with applicable law, including governmental permit, inspection and approval requirements. Repairs shall be performed in a good, skillful manner with materials of quality and appearance comparable to existing materials. It is understood that exact restoration of appearance or cosmetic items following all Repairs may not be possible. (iii) Tenant shall: (a) obtain receipts for Repairs performed by others; (b) prepare a written statement indicating the Repairs performed by Tenant and the date of such Repairs; and (c) provide copies of receipts and statements to Landlord prior to termination. Paragraph 29C does not apply when the tenancy is terminated pursuant to California Code of Civil Procedure § 1161.We should have been notified that this is something that needed to be done. Also during our final walk through we not notified at that time either that a professional carpet cleaning and house cleaning needed to be done. We had to do the move-in inspection ourselves and sent it off for approval and we had that same inspection paper during the move-out walk through noting everything. Nothing was said by either party who were present about the house being dirty or the carpet needing to be cleaned, it was actually noted how clean it was and asked if we had professionally cleaned it because the condition was excellent. So we are confused as to why we are being blindsided with this transaction.Per the lease agreement we are contacting you first to resolve this issue before legal actions are taken.We are requesting the amount of $1180 for the carpet cleaning and $150 for the house cleaning be refunded per the discrepancies of not following the lease agreement for termination.
Expert:  barristerinky replied 1 year ago.
Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I will try my level best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can.
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When you moved in, had the carpet been professionally cleaned prior to you taking occupancy?
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How about cleaning, was the property clean when you took possession?
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When you moved out, did you return the property in the same or better condition than when you received it?
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Did the landlord ever send an itemized list of any damages or deductions?
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If so, how long after you moved out did landlord or agent provide it?
.
.
thanks
Barrister
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
When you moved in, had the carpet been professionally cleaned prior to you taking occupancy? It had been cleaned about 2 months before we moved in the prior two tenants did not work out so we were given the opportunity to lease again.How about cleaning, was the property clean when you took possession? The house was clean when we moved in, a little dusty since it had been sitting for a month and a half. However the entire house smelled of cat urine which we noted on the move-in inspectionWhen you moved out, did you return the property in the same or better condition than when you received it? Yes the house was in the same condition, patched up any holes repainted the same color, no new stains on carpet all stains were there before us taking occupancy and was noted.Did the landlord ever send an itemized list of any damages or deductions? No, the only thing that was mentioned in an email was a hole in the exterior wall where the cable came in at.If so, how long after you moved out did landlord or agent provide it? That email contact about the hole was on April 28th, 10 days after move out
Expert:  barristerinky replied 1 year ago.
Ok, then the landlord has a big problem here because as you are aware, under CA Civil Code 1950.5(g) they have to send an itemized written list of any deductions from the security deposit with receipts along with any refund within 21 days of you vacating and surrendering possession.
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If they fail to do so, not only do they lose the right to deduct anything, but you also have grounds to sue them in small claims court for up to 3 times the amount wrongfully deducted under CA Civil Code 1950.5(l).
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(l) The bad faith claim or retention by a landlord or the landlord'
s successors in interest of the security or any portion thereof in
violation of this section, or the bad faith demand of replacement
security in violation of subdivision (j), may subject the landlord or
the landlord's successors in interest to statutory damages of up to
twice the amount of the security, in addition to actual damages. The
court may award damages for bad faith whenever the facts warrant that
award, regardless of whether the injured party has specifically
requested relief. In an action under this section, the landlord or
the landlord's successors in interest shall have the burden of proof
as to the reasonableness of the amounts claimed or the authority
pursuant to this section to demand additional security deposits.
.
.
thanks
Barrister