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Richard - Bizlaw
Richard - Bizlaw, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 10611
Experience:  Commercial and residential leases in NY & NJ & US
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The landlord charged me from my security deposit $500 for

Customer Question

the landlord charged me from my security deposit $500 for cleaning fee on the common area saying i stained the carpet when I moved out, which is a lie on the same floor there are 6 apartments and they cant prove it was me staining the carpet. also I had an additional $300 charging for leaving my couch on the garbage area saying the compactor room completely inaccessible and the entire area an utter mess and potentially hazardous to navigate. No tenant has ever left so much furniture at the building, upon vacating or otherwise, and any tenant that has left any large furniture item outside the building has done so after notifying our office and getting permission to do so. they charged me additional $194 for late rent fee because the received the check on the 12th instead of the first, on the lease clearly say if the check is received after the 5th but before the 15th the charge will be $100. We spoke with them regarding this matter and were assured it would be ok because we thought the last month rent was covered because we paid 1st last and security upon moving in.I would like to know what are my options. thank you.
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  Richard - Bizlaw replied 8 months ago.

Thank you for positively rating my answer. I am glad I could be of help. If you have questions in the future please ask for me Richard - Bizlaw.

What state are you in? How much have the deducted from your security deposit? When you say you paid first month, last month and one month's security deposit does that mean you were late paying the next to last month of the lease late or were you paying the last month's rent late even though you had prepaid it?

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
The apartment was in NJ. They withheld $994.60 from the deposit. We were unaware that we had to pay the last month rent because we did in fact prepay. They said that since last month is part of the deposit it comes back to us with the security. (Makes no sense to me). Once we spoke, I sent them the check immediately. Honestly was a miscommunication. The total deposit we paid was $$2,842.50 but we were only given back $1848
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
The question is are they allowed to charging cleaning fee for a common area without having prove I stained the carpet ?
Expert:  Richard - Bizlaw replied 8 months ago.

Two points. First, if you pay first and last month plus the security deposit then you did not have to pay the last month. Review your lease to see whether it says two months security or first and last month. The second point is that just because the landlord charges you for something does not mean you have accept it. You have the right to go to small claims court to challenge the deduction. You are entitled to recover double the amount of your security deposit that was wrongfully withheld. The items you should seek are the amounts you dispute about cleaning as well as the $100 late charge because there was no late payment. The amount you calculate as due you should be doubled because of youor right to recover twice the amount wrongfully withheld.

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