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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    1

    Default Meaning of "Itemized List" and "Normal Wear and Tear"

    My question involves a security deposit in the State of: Texas

    Upon moving out of my apartment, only a partial deposit was turned ($485 out of $600). The list explaining the charges say

    "interior cleaning, baseboards, blinds, window sills, wipe down walls, clean out kitchen, cabinets, stove, refrigerator, bathroom, etc. $115"

    I asked for a more detailed description of the breakdown and all I've gotten back so far is

    "The items listed were dirty. There is not a detailed break down of what it cost to clean each item. The cost was $115.00."

    My questions are:
    1. Does the above constitute a satisfactory "itemized list of all deductions"?
    2. Does "being dirty" go past the non-chargeable "normal wear and tear"?

    If no to both, should I press for a better list and better description? If they refuse to give it to me, what's the best course of action? Small claims court? Should I threaten this to try to get the list and description?

    Also, I gave written notice of my departure and returned the keys on July 21, but the deposit was returned on August 26. I don't know if passing the 30 day limit affects anything here.

    Thanks for the help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    34,704

    Default Re: Meaning of "Itemized List" and "Normal Wear and Tear"

    I would say each answer would be a yes.

    They do not have to itemize the billing to such a fine level that they account for every minute of time charged and apply it to some very specific task.


    to the second question: dirty is not wear and tear.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    227

    Default Re: Meaning of "Itemized List" and "Normal Wear and Tear"

    What they sent you seems quite "itemized" to me. I don't know what more you can be looking for.

    And as "JK" stated, dirt is NOT considered normal wear and tear. You can and should be charged for any cleaning you failed to do.

    As far as the deadline for returning the deposit. CA law clearly states that in order to penalize the landlord, you must prove that he/she acted in bad faith with respect to the deposit. Being a few days late is not acting in bad faith...but then again, that would be up to a judge to decide.

    BTW...$115 is not bad. My cleaning company would of charged double that for the items listed.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    93,326

    Default Re: Meaning of "Itemized List" and "Normal Wear and Tear"

    Apartments need to be cleaned between tenants. Whether or not a cleaning charge is appropriate depends upon whether there was something unusual about the alleged dirtiness, or whether there's a provision for a cleaning fee that's included in the lease and legal in the state where the rental occurred. California law does not apply in Texas.

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