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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    10

    Angry Penalty Fees and Restrictions On Move-Out Date

    My lease ends this end of July and I have given a 60 day notice.

    Coincidentally my landlord comes into my apartment a few days later threatening me that I will be liable for all the damages that has been done to the apartment. Especially the carpet with stains.

    There are stains that are considered to be wear and tear, but no excessive damage. And the apartment condition has not been changed since I moved in except the wear and tear of my 10 month residencey.

    However the apartment had leaking problems and numerous other problems that lead to one another which possibely damaged the apartment (I have given notice to the landlord about the damages and have records at the Philadelphia license and inspection of the damages that has been caused by poor maintainence with pictures).

    My landlord did not even blink an eye and told me that the contract (leasing agreement) states that I have to shampoo the carpet when I move out. Therefore it doesn't matter if the leaky ceiling damaged the carpet, I will be charged for a new carpet to be installed through my security deposit. Did I mention the condition of the carpet when I moved in was atleast a few years old??

    Also my contract (leasing agreement) states that I can only move out monday through friday at 8am to 4pm or I will be charged for $200 penalty for each day until I move out. Can my landlord do that????? I am sure she purposely does not want to give the security deposit back since tenants like myself are leaving the apartment. A lot of unhappy tenants with lawyers are leaving the apartment.

    Do I have to shampoo my carpet when I move out?
    And do I have to move out only during the times Monday through Friday between 8am to 4pm?? Most people work during those hours including myself!

    Or should I just get a lawyer?

    Your help or advice will be greatly appreciated!! I am stressing here!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    10

    Angry Re: Issues with contract

    Any legal advice anyone? I would greatly appreciate it.

    My landlord will try her best to keep all the security deposit over few carpet stains.
    And it seems as if she is trying hard not to make me move during the weekends and fine me with $200 each day.

    What can I do to prevent her from doing so??

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    28,625

    Default Re: Issues with contract

    You need to start by stating what state you are in.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Issues with contract

    Pennsylvania, Philadelphia

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    28,625

    Default Re: Issues with contract

    I am not aware of any official presentation of Pennsylvania's landlord-tenant laws online. An unofficial version is here. You can also find a summary of Pennsylvania security deposit law here.

    If you were supposed to shampoo the carpet and the only claimed damage is that you failed to do so, the remedy would be to recover the cost of shampooing the carpet, not carpet replacement. You may be able to find a statute which governs which cleaning charges may or may not be charged to a tenant.

    The move-out rule sounds like a ridiculously high liquidated damages rule, which I doubt a court would enforce. Still, if you can move out during those hours, you may wish to choose not to make it an issue.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    310

    Default Re: Issues with contract

    I think an argument can be made that if the carpet is such that it needs to be replaced, that the landlord has not suffered any damages by the tenant who fails to have it shampoed or cleaned, though it might be cheaper to have it shampoed than go to court. If the landlord is convinced that the carpet needs to be replaced, and that you have not contributed any damage to the carpet including excess wear and tear, you may want to agree to not clean the carpet and allow the landlord to deduct the cost of cleaning the carpet from your security deposit. Just be sure to get any agreement in writing.

    I would also suggest that you take plenty of pictures and/or video before you move out. Preferrrably with the apartment empty. You might want to consider having at least some of the pictures developed and send them to the landlord to show you can prove what condition the apartment was in when you moved out so that he/she thinks twice about making fraudulent or unnecessary deductions from your security deposit. A witness who would be willing to go to court with you would also help. A walkthrough with the landlord with a written record also helps. In some states it is mandatory.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    28,625

    Default Re: Issues with contract

    I agree with that, in relation to the carpet - if the carpet was to be replaced whether or not it was cleaned, there would not appear to be any economic harm to the landlord from its not being cleaned.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    10

    Unhappy Re: Issues with contract

    Thank you for the great advice guys.

    Despite being a low-income college student I am considering to take legal action against my lanlord.

    It seems as if my landlord takes advantages of students like myself, especially international students with language barriers. And I think someone really needs to end this so other students like myself do not suffer.

    There are many other tenants like myself who had numerous difficulties with this landlord and I am aware that she has been sued recently numerous times due to her fradualnt activities and extremely poor apartment maintenace.

    Currently it seems as if she is fixing up the apartments now especially the ones that sued her, but that is not sufficent for tenants like myself who suffered without a lawyer or just broke the lease and moved out losing a lot of money.

    During my 10 month residency I lived in this apartment at Philadelphia for 6 months without bugshields and cracked windows. And Lived there with ceiling leaks that damaged the carpet and caused odors for 8 months. And the apartment was infested with huge waterbugs and she only recently sent an exterminator while I filed a complaint to her ever since I moved in bak in July. I have pictures of the leaky ceiling and the pests. And witnesses

    Do you think I have a case here to sue her for the 6-8 months worth of partial rent? The contract also states that I agree to "waive jury trial" and will pay for any occuring attorney fees if I sue her.

    My landlord is evil and I think I already lost 5 or more years of my life due to the amount of stress I have recieved. I want this to end!!!

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