Sample Letter To Landlord: Improper Deductions or Over-Charges from Security Deposit for Normal Wear And Tear
UPDATED: July 15, 2013
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[Month XX, 20XX]
[City, State ZIP]
Re: Deposit for [Rental Property Address]
On [Month XX, 20XX] I vacated [Rental Property Address]. Thereafter, on [Month XX, 20XX], I received an itemized list of deductions you claim you are withholding from my security deposit. Included on your list is a $500 deduction for repainting the interior of the house due to dirt on the walls and a $200 deduction for a professional cleaning service to clean the refrigerator and stove.
I moved into the house in [Month Year]. I rented your property for [XX years]; during that time, the interior was never repainted. Normal wear and tear on the interior paint of a house is to be expected. The fading and soiling of the paint is due to normal wear and tear. As such, the cost of repainting is your responsibility. I demand the return of my $500 you have improperly deducted from my deposit for this purpose.
Admittedly, the stove and the refrigerator were not as clean as when I moved into the house. However, $200 is an unreasonable amount to charge to perform light cleaning on two appliances. Per [your State] law, you may only deduct the actual amount paid for cleaning the parts of the house I left dirty. I’d ask that you provide me with a copy of the invoice—including the amount paid and hours spent—tendered by the cleaning company for their services. The actual invoiced amount can be deducted from my deposit, but the balance of the $200 you have withheld should be returned to me, promptly.
If you do not comply with the requests outlined above within 5 days of the date of this letter [or the date required by your state law, if that is later] I will be left with no choice but to take the matter to small claims court.