Sample Letter To Landlord: Improper Deduction from Security Deposit for Cleaning Fee that Is Not Tenant's Responsibility

[Month XX, 20XX]

[Landlord's Name]
[Landlord's Address]
[City, State ZIP]

Re: Deposit for [Rental Property Address]

Dear [Landlord]:

On [Month XX, 20XX] I vacated [Rental Property Address]. I cleaned the house thoroughly prior to leaving; it is cleaner now than it was when I took possession. I have enclosed photographs depicting the condition of the house both at the time I moved in and immediately prior to vacating.  The photos depict the spotless condition of the home at the time I vacated the premises, as well as the poor condition in which I found the house upon move-in.

On [Month XX, 20XX] I received your letter informing me that you have deducted $200 from my security deposit to pay for a cleaning service. This is unacceptable.  You have neither the right--nor the necessity--to charge me for a cleaning service. I demand the immediate return of my $200.

Under the law of this state, you have [number of] days to return my deposit. If I do not receive the remaining $200 from you by that time [or within 5 days of the date of this letter, if the time has already passed], I will take the matter to small claims court.

Best Regards,
[Your Name]