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Marsha411JD, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 20228
Experience:  Licensed Atty, 29 yrs exp in the practice of law.
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Well I just received my deposit back from my previous

Customer Question

Well I just received my deposit back from my previous landlord, they held added fees for carpet cleaning and slight odor removal ($120), and for screen repair/replacement - ($90) however I paid them a nonrefundable pet fee of 400 dollars, should the carpet cleaning and screen replacement not come from this? Or am I mistaken?
JA: Because laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state the property is in?
Customer: yes Washington
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: as far as a legal complaint? how do you mean> ?
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you? What confuses you?
Customer: no that is all.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 10 months ago.


Thank you for the information and your question. Oddly enough, under Washington landlord tenant law, assuming the landlord has complied with the law as it relates to taking a nonrefundable pet fee, there is no requirement that damages caused by a pet be charged against the fee. This is because it is actually a fee for the purpose of giving permission to have a pet. Since it is nonrefundable from the beginning, there would be no requirement that any damages be charged against the fee. It can definitely be a windfall for the landlord, but there are cases when it works otherwise.

Therefore, assuming that the landlord has withheld proper damages from your security deposit, despite them being caused by a pet, they would be acting within the law. However, you might have a basis to object to the withholding if the charge is not reasonable or there was no walk through or check list. You can see more details about your rights and options (too numerous to list here) by going to the following links:

Please feel free to ask for clarification after you have had a chance to read the information at the links I provided. If none is needed, then if you could take a moment to leave a positive rating in the ratings box above, I will receive credit for assisting you today. Thank you

Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 10 months ago.

Hello again,

I wanted to touch base with you and make sure that you did not have any follow up questions for me from the answer I provided to you on the 20th. For some reason, the Experts are not always getting replies, or ratings (at the top of the question/answer page you are viewing or in the pop up box for this question), which is how we get credit(paid by the Site) for our work, that the customer thinks have gone through. In your case I received neither.

Please keep in mind that I cannot control the law or your circumstances, and am ethically bound to provide you with accurate information based on the facts you give me even if the news is not good. If you are having technical difficulties with reading, replying or rating,please let me know so that I can inform the Site administrator.Please note that Site use works best while using a computer and using either Google Chrome or Firefox.

In any event, it was a pleasure assisting you and I would be glad to attempt to assist you further on this issue, or a new legal issue,if needed. You can bookmark my page at:

Thank you.