My question involves a security deposit in the State of: PA
Our last date of tenancy was 12/31/07. I provided our forwarding address along with a check for the final water bill (that's a whole other issue). The check was cashed, but our security deposit was not received as of 2/29/08 so I wrote to landlord with forwarding address, and note of PA law (they are out of state).
About 10 days later, the LL responds with list of expenses for when we moved out, plus claims that they had a $600 trash violation at the property. They are witholding half of the violation amount, deducted expenses for repairing a window and cleaning carpets. We have no problem with those deductions, as we didn't replace the glass ourselves (our dog's fault) and the carpets are OLD. They provided a money order in the amount of $95. Our original deposit was more than $550, but made with a different owner who sold the place two years ago.
DH stopped by the old neighborhood to say hi to old friends. We had been residents there for more than 5 years. He talked with them about any trash issues they may have seen that would have been cause for such a huge violation, and learned that the new tenant had moved in to our unit a short time after we were out.
The LL claims to have repaired a window and deducted an appropriate amount from our deposit to cover it, but apparently the glass has not been replaced. I don't know if the carpets were actually cleaned and I don't know how to validate their claim about the trash violation. The only trash we left was a small assortment of cardboard boxes on a rainy Tuesday that could not be left on the sidewalk until Thursday. We made the maintenance man aware of it and he understood they they would need to be put out Wednesday night for Thursday's pickup, so we thought. We had no reason to believe he wouldn't take care of this matter.
We were on a month to month lease when they came along in May 2006 and didn't bother give us a new lease until more than a year later. (gave it to us in October 07 with an August 07 effective date.) We did not sign it and promptly worked to get out of there.
We were good tenants, always paid rent on time and made no significant damage to the place. Do we have any recourse to getting our money back? Should we contact an attorney?