Question Dear Sir/Madam:
We rented a house in Philadelphia PA during 2 years with very good relationship with our landlord who were authorized to enter the house every time they needed with previous notice and they did it a lot!). The lease agreement was a bit demanding (brushing the brass every week, keep the window boxes blossoming or with ever green depending of the season, using just vinegar and water to clean the floor, etc...)We agreed with that and trust them. When we took the house, it was dirty because of the previous tenant and we did a long cleaning job, including the walls, by ourselves! We had a link in the chimney which started at the first month and it was never repaired (they asked about 6 different roofers for a good price but they never hired one). During the 2011 Hurricane, we also had a link in the stairs and they waited until the last months to repaint it (to make up the house before the open house). But of all that we were understanding. They were always very happy of our tenancy and full of regrets when we told them we were leaving. Anyway when we left in July, we left a clean house and since we were about to move to a different state with our movers already on the road (so in a tight schedule), we left our garbage (just the usual trash from a moving) in the street just one day before the regular pick up schedule, apologizing around to our neighbors. Of course we informed our landlord of that and they were worried about getting a fine (that we were willing to pay if so).
Then we received the security deposit minus $500 (our deposit was $1600). They argued of the lease: "the tenant will pay Landlord's cost of disposal of Tenant's property.". They charged us to have left trash in the street! We asked them to send us the bill or fine from the city to justify this disproportionate amount (especially since we left a clean house and garden). They do not answer and we do not know what to do now.
I hope you could advice us.
I'm sorry for your troubles with this and there is no easy or uncostly solution. Your two options to the best of my knowledge would be to contact the rental agent/agency who rented the apt. to you and see if they can help verify the security deposit. If you didn't have an agent, then you can contact a real estate attorney to take the landlord to court over this. You may also be able to file a claim under your small claims court in your county against the landlord. In any case you'll need a copy of your lease and the deposits you made and the letters and contact info you received form the landlord for whoever you meet. Sorry I couldn't be of more help.
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