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barristerinky
barristerinky, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 34736
Experience:  Attorney over 16 years, landlord 26 years
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I did a walk through on the property before leaving. We

Customer Question

I did a walk through on the property before leaving. We later we charged $150 for purchase and reprogramming of a garage remote, $75 for removal of "items left" and $125 for yard maintenance.
We did a full walk through and there were no issues with the yard noted or brought to us at that time.
The purchase of a garage door opener was legitimate but $150 purchasing and programming fee for a $40 remote seems excessive
Finally, the removal of items...I have been asking for a list and the management company won't provide a list of items. We noted on the walk through that we were leaving a couple pallets in the garage for the next tenants since it floods. I asked if they should be removed and was told it was fine. This was documented on the walk through paperwork signed by an agent of the management firm.
While not a Huge amount of money i feel like I am being taken advantage of and frankly want to hold them to the fire on principle. Do we have any standing? particularly on the yard item?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
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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Can you tell me what state you are in?
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Have you disputed the items with the landlord and asked them to provide more details?
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If so, what was the response?
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thanks
Barrister
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I was in MO.I did: Here is the complete exchange:The garage remote was $40 plus tax, the handyman charges a minimum hour at $60/hr to go purchase one and then program it, plus his $45 service call charge. That accounts for the $150.The owner's son assigned a $200 value to the time spent on the yard work plus removing whatever was left. Had we hired a landscaping company and a company to haul things away, it would have been far more expensive. 1-800-got-junk is who we would have used and their minimum charge is $122. The charge from a landscaping company would have far exceeded the remaining $78 difference from $200.There's nothing else to discuss regarding this, the charges are all legitimate and fair.On Tue, Aug 18, 2015 at 8:50 AM, *****, *****tina wrote:
I do take issue with all of the charges and if the person doing the walk through makes “a mistake and forgets something” that’s on your company not me.
$150 to purchase and program a $20 garage door opening is extremely excessive.
My husband realized the other day that we left a statue in the back yard, was there other items that needed to be removed? I specifically told (and it is noted) your representative that we were leaving the palets since the garage floods, we thought they would come in handy. I asked if that was a problem and was told no. The same with the black trash can in the garage. I assume the only thing to be hauled away was a statue. $75, again, is excessive
Finally, I fully believe that if the yard was a concern, that your representation should have noted this and said something. I’m discounting the owner’s labors but candidly it looked EXACTLY the same as it did when we moved in so I struggle to see the rationale for the charges. outside of the garden beds, which we were told at the walk through with the owner and her son, could be left.
Please let me know how you would like to proceed in addressing the above, specifically detailing justification for these charges past a generic description and rounded charge.
Christina
From: Tom Potter [mailto***@******.***]
Sent: Monday, August 10, 2015 8:18 PM
To: *****, *****tina
Subject: Re: Deposit
It's a good start, but not always definitive. For example, there could be unpaid utility bills that wouldn't necessarily come to light until after move out. Or the person doing the walkthrough could make a mistake and forget something. If you have specific issues with the list of charges, I'm happy to discuss them with the owner. I see them all as valid and reasonable, however.On Monday, August 10, 2015, *****, *****tina wrote:
Interesting take. It would seem by the documentation and the format of the final walk through form that anything that was of concern would be noted on the walk through. Correct?
On Aug 10, 2015, at 7:35 PM, Tom Potter wrote:
The purpose of a final walk through is to reclaim possession of a property with the expectation of it being returned as it was given, not to provide a list of things to do.
On Mon, Aug 10, 2015 at 6:11 PM, *****, *****tina wrote:
Please forward the spreadsheet electronically. Again, the walk through was specifically to address anything that needed to be resolved prior to our departure. Please provide a copy of that walk through signed by Herman London representation.
On Aug 10, 2015, at 6:27 PM, Tom Potter wrote:
Christina,
I don't joke about security deposits. We have to pay someone to go out and buy a new universal garage remote and make it operational for the new tenant to use. So you would absolutely incur the cost of that material and labor to do so. The owner's son assigned a value to the hours of manual labor he put in trimming back overgrown bushes in the back of the property and removing that debris. There are items in the lease under tenant responsibilities outlining the necessary care to be provided to trees and shrubs. He also said he had to remove something that was left behind. A spreadsheet of these charges is included with the check of the remainder of your deposit, and you'll receive it at the address you provided by the end of the week more than likely.
Expert:  barristerinky replied 1 year ago.

Ok, if they are being evasive about providing exact details about what the charges were for, then your recourse here is to file a small claims court case against the landlord for breach of contract and force them to appear in court with their proof and specific documentation about what was removed.

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You can get the summons and complaint forms from the court clerk and the filing fees are around $60 which you would get back if you win in addition to any damages.

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Howeve,r it is likely that if you actually filed suit against them, that they would contact you to settle the matter rather than be dragged into court and have to hire an attorney to defend a questionable case....

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thanks

Barrister