How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask TJ, Esq. Your Own Question
TJ, Esq.
TJ, Esq., Attorney
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 11784
Experience:  JD, MBA
9373668
Type Your Real Estate Law Question Here...
TJ, Esq. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My old apt is trying to charge me for: normal wear and tear

Customer Question

My old apt is trying to charge me for: normal wear and tear on carpet that was 5 years old when I left, ALL the mini blinds-which are in perfect condition and a crack in a back window I was unaware of. I have moved out of state, but my mother was there for the walk-through. In addition they are claiming $25 per counter (4) they say was not cleaned - even though my mother and I did it personally! I am willing to pay a cleaning fee, as I did not get the refirigerator/oven cleaned completely. But $1188 seems ridiculous! I had to move rather quickly, due to an abusive ex. Do I have to pay these costs?
JA: Because laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state the property is in?
Customer: Oklahoma
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?
Customer: no
JA: Anything else you think the lawyer should know?
Customer: What is normal wear and tear on carpet? What is the industry standard cleaning fee for an apt and the life of carpet? Also they say I have to pay for a full paint out on the entire apt. There were 6 nail holes in the dining/living room and a mark by the front door.
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Real Estate Lawyer about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  TJ, Esq. replied 5 months ago.

Hello and thank you for the opportunity to assist you. My name is ***** ***** I will do my very best to answer your legal questions.

Q: Do I have to pay these costs?

A: You wouldn't have to pay for normal wear and tear on the carpet, nor would you have to pay for mini-blinds in perfect condition. You may have to pay for a crack in a back window that occurred while you were in possession of the apartment, however, even if you weren't aware of the crack. Also, you would have to pay a cleaning fee if the refrigerator and oven were not properly cleaned. If the counters were properly cleaned, then you would not have to pay for that.

Q: What is normal wear and tear on carpet? What is the industry standard cleaning fee for an apt and the life of carpet? Also they say I have to pay for a full paint out on the entire apt. There were 6 nail holes in the dining/living room and a mark by the front door.

A: You'd have to ask a carpet expert and probably a maid service to find out the industry standards for those costs in the city you lived at in Oklahoma. It would obviously vary by location. As for the paint job, you may have to pay for repairing the holes and the mark, but probably not paint for the entire apartment.

Here's what you can do: If the landlord won't give you back your entire security deposit (less the amount that you believe is fair), then you can sue him in small claims court. Or, if there is no deposit, and you won't pay the bill, then the landlord can sue you in small claims court. But the bot***** *****ne is that once you get to court, the landlord will have to prove that you caused more than ordinary wear and tear, and that you left the kitchen a mess. You and your mother can then dispute that, and the judge will ultimately rule in favor of who he believes. But if it comes down to your word against the landlord's word, and the judge thinks that you both are sufficiently believable (i.e., the evidence doesn't swing towards one of you), then you should win because the burden of proof is on the landlord to prove the damages that you caused.

Does that answer your question? Please let me know if you need clarification, as I am happy to continue helping you until you are satisfied.

Expert:  TJ, Esq. replied 5 months ago.

Hello again. I didn't hear back from you, so I'm just checking in to make sure that you don't need more help on this issue. If not, then please remember to provide a positive rating (and note that your positive rating is the only way that I'll get credit for helping you, so I greatly appreciate it). Thank you!