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I moved out of a rental recently. I had one small dog and

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Hello. I moved out of...
Hello. I moved out of a rental recently. I had one small dog and the house was 2500 sq ft. Before I moved out, I had the carpets cleaned professionally. The landlord came to look at the house before I gave them the keys and they noted a few items that had to be cleaned(fans, blinds, etc) and said that the carpets smelled and had stains still. I had the carpets cleaned a second time & had them deodorized. We did a Walkthrough that evening and they said everything was fine and that they would refund my deposit. They did ask me to help them move some wood to the front of the house from a tree that had fallen in the back yard and I agreed to do that three days later. When I met with them to move the wood they said that they thought there was still a odor and that they were moving in new tenants the next day and if they were fine with it they would let it go but if they say something we will have to deal with it. I did not smell any odor at all so I was not worried.
I received a text a
Submitted: 2 years ago.Category: Landlord-Tenant
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11/10/2015
Lawyer: Ely, Counselor at Law replied 2 years ago
Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 102,932
Experience: Attorney
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Your question was cut off. The last thing I have is " I received a text a..."

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Customer reply replied 2 years ago
I received a text a few days later saying that the new tenant complained about the odor and that they want to know how I would like to proceed. They also said that the air ducts need to be cleaned and that it is my responsibility. Also, that my carpet cleaner told them the carpets can't be cleaned & needed to be replaced. I immediately called my cleaner who said he never told them that and would back me up if needed.
Lawyer: Ely, Counselor at Law replied 2 years ago

Thank you. Is the landlord withholding the deposit (all or some) due to the alleged smell?

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Customer reply replied 2 years ago
They have not said that specifically but have asked me what I would like to do about replacing the carpet. I want to know my rights before I speak to them.
Customer reply replied 2 years ago
I brought someone with me to the Walkthrough who witnessed that there was no odor and that the landlord confirmed that. They did take out a black light and showed us spots all over the walls and carpet but I explained to them that my dog is not tall enough to make the spots on the walls and that I know there were dogs in the property before I moved in and that they did not do a Walkthrough with a black light with me before I moved in.
Lawyer: Ely, Counselor at Law replied 2 years ago

Thank you.

The landlord can withhold the deposit for damage beyond what would be normal wear and tear. See Civil Code Section 1950.5. According to California Dept. of Consumer Affairs that does a great job summarizing this doctrine:

"Normal wear and tear to carpets, drapes and other furnishings cannot be charged against a tenant's security deposit. Normal wear and tear includes simple wearing down of carpet and drapes because of normal use or aging, and includes moderate dirt or spotting. In contrast, large rips or indelible stains justify a deduction from the tenant's security deposit for repairing the carpet or drapes, or replacing them if that is reasonably necessary. One common method of calculating the deduction for replacement prorates the total cost of replacement so that the tenant pays only for the remaining useful life of the item that the tenant has damaged or destroyed. For example, suppose a tenant has damaged beyond repair an eight-year-old carpet that had a life expectancy of ten years, and that a replacement carpet of similar quality would cost $1,000. The landlord could properly charge only $200 for the two years' worth of life (use) that would have remained if the tenant had not damaged the carpet."

If the landlord withholds all or some of the deposit, the withholding is presumed valid unless/until challenged in Court by the tenant. It would be his word versus yours. If you have any proof (photos, etc, at time of walk-through) this can be used to help with the argument should this have to go to small claims court.

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