Author Topic: Help On Landlord Issues  (Read 1727 times)

pstu24

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Help On Landlord Issues
« on: December 29, 2016, 01:38:34 PM »
I moved into my current house back at the end of July. (We left the keys with the old landlord roughly July 27th maybe the 28th).

According to PA Law, my landlord has 30 days to postmark an invoice of any damages and then return our deposit.

I communicated with him by text the last few months, so I wasn't concerned about getting the deposit back... just irritated that it was taking so long. BUT, he is a very nice guy and he also had problems going on with his brother who lives out of state dealing with cancer, so I tried to not push the issue.

He owed us a full security deposit back of $1360 (1300 plus the prorated 60 for moving out a few days early to get the place clean per our agreement). However, he came back and with a letter dated Dec. 8th just gave us an invoice totaling $1423.97!

My first question is - according to PA Law of having 30 days to notify us, doesn't he forfeit his right to charge us in the first place???

Secondly, even if not ... and even if he is still entitled to his claims, the only one that even agrees with the lease is that we would be responsible for cleaning. However, the lease states cleaning is charged at $25 per hour and he charged us $365 to clean the appliances....

All of this is ALSO after the fact that he skipped the appointment for our final walk through. I was present 2 days before I moved out to verify it was all ok - and I have a copy of the text messages where he stated all looked good except for some minor cleaning.

The other stuff I think is exhorbitant. He charged us $685 to paint the garage floor - although he used a cheap latex paint that was coming up anyway. And the lease even states the basement is prone to flooding in the spring (which is why the paint was coming up). He also charged $265 to steam clean the carpets. We had a steamer lined up to clean them but cancelled the appointment when he said everything looked good....

I don't want to be unfair because he's a very nice guy - we lived there for two years without issue - and I never had a problem with him in the past. However, it feels like a kick in the gut that almost 6 months of letting him delay paying us the 1360, and now he's trying to charge us in hindsight ...

I know many of you are current landlords (whether in PA or not) and I just wanted to know how I should deal with this. Again, according to what I know from the lease, from the PA renter law of 30 days, and just the fact that the items listed are all out of line ... I just wanted to get some advice. Thanks!

MommyCake

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Re: Help On Landlord Issues
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2016, 06:44:51 AM »
I don't know specific info on PA, but I do own rental property in NJ.  I did a quick google search (may or may not be accurate) and the laws appear to be the same in PA.  If the landlord didn't write to you within 30 days he forfeits his right to keep the deposit for any reason.  However, if you did not give him your new address in writing, he is not bound by the 30 day requirement.  If I were you I would talk to him about the matter and see if he will return your deposit.  If not, I would take this to court; in my county it is very easy to file a complaint and get a court date within two to six weeks.  He has two counts against him according to your post; first is the way, way more than 30 days, and second is the flimsy reasons for charges. 

NoNonsenseLandlord

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Re: Help On Landlord Issues
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2016, 08:39:36 AM »
In MN, I have 21 days to give it back.  If I do not have the new address, I send it to the last known address.

The garage floor would be wear and tear.  The cleaning a bit excessive, although if I have a dirty appliance I may just scrap it and charge the tenant the residual remaining over a 45 year period.  My lease states I can charge $200 to clean a range.

pstu24

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Re: Help On Landlord Issues
« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2016, 08:31:57 PM »
Thanks for the help! So far Landlord hasn't returned calls over last few days. I do realize its new years eve and weekend however. But if i cant get a hold of them within the next few days I am going to send them a letter asking stating I am disputing the charges and that I will pursue legal action if they don't respond. Any strategy on this?

In another fortunate twist... I discovered my father in law is fairly close friends with the district magistrate ... the one who would be hearing the case. I just want this to be fair but I can't help but feel I either need to give in to them (I wont) or I could  up steamrolling them - without being overconfident of course. I just want to be fair!

NoStacheOhio

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Re: Help On Landlord Issues
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2017, 08:16:23 AM »
Thanks for the help! So far Landlord hasn't returned calls over last few days. I do realize its new years eve and weekend however. But if i cant get a hold of them within the next few days I am going to send them a letter asking stating I am disputing the charges and that I will pursue legal action if they don't respond. Any strategy on this?

In another fortunate twist... I discovered my father in law is fairly close friends with the district magistrate ... the one who would be hearing the case. I just want this to be fair but I can't help but feel I either need to give in to them (I wont) or I could  up steamrolling them - without being overconfident of course. I just want to be fair!

I wouldn't bother disputing the invoice. As long as you've complied with your obligations under the relevant laws, just keep up about the 30 day limit. Anything else is irrelevant and distracting.