On July 18th, my family moved out of a condo that had been rented to us for the past year. About one week later, we received a statement from our landlord that she would be keeping all of our ~$1300 security deposit plus interest (demanding an additional $500) to pay for repairs and rent due.
The rent due is ours to pay, for we did move out later than expected, though these are the items with which we're rather unhappy to be charged:
1) A wall to wall carpet replacement at a cost of $450. This is because, according to her, there was adhesive from duct tape on a small portion of this carpet. I called a local hardware store and found that this adhesive could be removed with a $3.00 bottle of citrus-based cleaner. Having tested this product out on similar test carpets that had been positively abused with duct tape, I'm certain that this substance is effective.
2) Removal and cleaning of another wall to wall carpet to remove pet urine. We do have cats, though this smell was *quite* pungent and present the very day we moved in-- it's not from our pets. After repeated treatment and the decline of the humidity and heat of last summer, we managed to live with it, and only recently has the odor resurfaced. This is another few hundred dollars.
3) Mold present in the upstairs and downstairs bathrooms apparently require that will, again, cost a few hundred dollars. This mold did develop during our tenancy, though because these bathrooms are centrally positioned in the condo, they rely entirely on ventilation systems (cheap, ceiling-mounted fans and airshafts) to prevent excessive moisture buildup during showers. Furthermore, as per correspondence from the condo association, we've found that water damage from shoddy roofing work is common in these units. Scrubbing with bleach did not do much to deter this mold; it was clearly in the ceilings and walls. I suspect this to be due to the ventilation system. During a walk-through toward the end of our tenancy, the landlord remarked that she would "definitely need stronger fans" for this system.
4) A swinging, wood-framed screen for a ceiling-mounted window on the top floor broke during our tenancy. This was installed after we'd moved in, and only after repeated demands on our part. The landlord wishes to charge us $310 for its replacement. This screen, even brand new, was exceptionally shoddy in quality and broke during normal use. To claim its value to be $310 is laughable; it is barely of the quality one would expect from a junior high school woodshop student.
We never received a statement of condition from this woman. We've tried to work with her during our tenancy; we gave her *very* much leeway in time to repair the oven that, even prior to our moving in, did not function. This sort of laissez-faire attitude toward persuing resolution of some problems might jeopardize our ability to retrieve the deposit through court.
Might someone be able to help me out? Where can I go from here to retrieve some or all of what is owed to us?