Monday, July 25, 2016

Landlord store $1450 from me on top of my damage deposit to pay for his floors to be redone. Need advice.

I'll try to sum this up as clearly as possible. I live in Seattle. On May 28th, I sent in a rent check for the month of June. The following day, my landlord cashed it. June 1st he emails me saying he's raising rent. I told him I'd move out as I cannot pay the increase amount. Since I had already paid first/last months rent upon initial move in, I requested the last check to be returned since the last rent had already been paid for. He said he'd lump it into my damage deposit and pet deposit when we move out. Fast forward: we clean the apartment but notice one of our floor plants left a stain from being over-watered. Our landlord took $250 from the damage deposit to get it fixed. He wrote us a check for the remainder, somewhere around $2200. The next day, he cancelled the check saying he wants more money for the damage. I said he could use our the remainder of our damage deposit but requested the pet deposit and duplicate rent check be returned. He returned $700 and said the rest of it was needed to redo the floors. He sent me a quote from a repairman: to replace the floor boards where the stain was would be $300 but to sand/refinish the rest of the floors to match would be $1400. That, plus my landlords time, he's not giving us a penny back. My question is. The duplicate rent check of $1450 is not legally his. He can use my entire damage deposit but he has no right to the $1450 nor the pet deposit. If I take him to small claims court to get that returned to me, is there a chance he can counter-sue for what he claims he needs to fix? Can he counter-sue for more than he actually needs? There was also no check-list upon move in in regards to current damages to the apartment. I was also a dumbass and didn't take pictures before/after. Just wondering if going to small claims court would be worth it or not. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Submitted July 25, 2016 at 12:11PM by alreeves9

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