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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2016

    Angry Landlord is Charging a Tenant for a Non-Existing Smoke Smell

    My question involves landlord-tenant law in the State of: CA

    Hi, I moved out of a studio last month. I treated the apartment carefully and did a good cleaning before moved out. I asked an initial inspect, but somehow the manager didn't do it. I didn't take it serious at that time. However, after 1 month I moved out, my landlord sent me a bill for replacing the carpet, doing smoke treatment and painting the well, which not only kept all the deposits but asked for more. The reason is "there was a heavy smoke smell". I swear not a single cigarette ever consumed in the studio and I checked the room on the move-out date, no smell at all.

    I disputed and asked the manager for the receipts. The manager said that three "specialists" can prove there was a smell(but it is now removed). She also sent me some invoices with even higher price than the original bill, threatening me that she will renew the bill to reflect the higher charge if I keep disputing. The strange thing is, I can't find any information online about some of the companies on the invoice, so I don't know what to do with these invoices.

    Since it's a smell, I don't have any evident either, exception some closed friends? If the landlord actually let someone they hired to prove the smell(I am sure it is lying), is there a chance I can fight back? And what should I do now?

    Thank you so much!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Behind a Desk

    Default Re: Landlord Charged Me for Non-Existing Smoke Smell, is There a Chance to Fight Back

    If you properly requested an initial inspection, in writing, the landlord should have provided one.

    If you are charged for repairs that did not occur, for updates that have nothing to do with your tenancy, or for the "repair" of ordinary wear and tear, you can sue your landlord in small claims court. You will present whatever evidence and testimony that you have, and hope that the court finds it more convincing than whatever evidence the court provides. If you properly requested an initial inspection and were not given that inspection, that fact may help persuade the court that your position is correct and possibly help buttress an argument that the landlord isn't acting in good faith.

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