Victim Location 90020
Total money lost $878.24
Type of a scam Home Improvement
Security Deposit Dispute with Former Landlord
After living at my former residence for over 2.5 years (January 2014 – August 2016), the landlord, Olympio Martinez, refused to pay back the initial $1500 deposit to me and my former roommate.
We have never had a late rent or done any damages to the 2 bedroom apartment beyond the normal small wear and tear. We were not asked to do the walk through inspection 2 weeks prior to our move out date when given our 30 day notice, only after we cleared and cleaned the apartment as we left. After 22 days, not only we didn’t receive our deposits, we received a bill for $203.24 for "half month of late rent ($723.45)" as well as a "painting" bill ($620).
After giving statements from banks to prove that both August rent checks were processed on time, the landlord tried to label the late rent fee as a "misunderstanding" but sent a second invoice for the paint bill plus an extra "blinds installation" fee.
This is illegal, as provided by Brown, Warner and Portman, The California Landlord’s Law Book, Vol. I: Rights & Responsibilities, pages 384-385 (NOLO Press 2011):
"…the amount that the landlord can deduct from the tenant’s security deposit for repainting, when repainting is necessary, is based on the length of the tenant’s stay in the rental unit….if the tenant lived in the rental unit for two years or more, the tenant could not be charged for any repainting costs, no matter how dirty the walls were."
I can understand any cleaning fee, but will not stand for the landlord’s own remodeling fee to be paid with my money.
Please advise and thank you,
Mengxi (Maxine) Wu