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A bill from property manager after moving out

Discussion in 'Moving In & Out, Movers' started by Marybell, Nov 15, 2021.

  1. Marybell

    Marybell Law Topic Starter Member

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    My family rented a duplex for over 11 years. Rent amount didn't go up during these years. When we moved in, the condition was OK, nothing extraordinary though. The duplex was built in the 1970s and many things were never updated/reinstalled since that. My husband passed away while we lived there. By 2021, many things were so much in need of updating that this prompted us to look for a different place. My child and I moved out in Oct 2021.
    The property manager was out of town when I finished all my work in the property. I dropped off the keys at her office and we never did a "closing walk through"
    I just received a bill from her that includes her expenses that she wants us to pay for, on top of keeping the deposit and pet fee.
    My question is how legit it is to demand us pay for certain things (beyond the deposit, which I agree that she keeps)
    1 - The house had carpeting throughout the whole house, including kitchen and bathrooms (yuck!), there was water damage in the shower cabin area, carpet in the kitchen became absolutely filthy. By law, MUST they replace all carpeting, given how long we lived there? She included a charge "for carpet cleaning" ($275) - what is she cleaning if she needs to replace all carpets?
    2 - A cleaning of the house and appliances ($290) .. The stove was so outdated that I could only use 2 burners out of 4, the repair guy that came a few year ago said that the stove could't be repaired given its age.. Fridge was also quite old, I actually was using my own because the house fridge wasn't working super well. In my opinion, it also needs to be replaced, however, if they decide to keep it, I cleaned it real well myself. Dishwasher was replaced while we lived there. There is not much to clean in there. I understand that the house needs to be cleaned, however, appliances need to be replaced, at least some of them.
    3- a charge of over $1000 for light bulbs, some glass globes and fixtures (a few of them crumbled from old age while we were there), sliding door blinds broke years ago and I decided to use curtains after that. For some reasons, rescreening of the sliding patio door is also inclided in the charge she thinks I am responsible for.. well, no screen will last for over 11 years.. I was patching broken area myself because she would never agree to rescreen the whole door (I would love if she did that while we were there).. Front storm door is super old and was another shameful aspect of the house for us.. I was also pataching it myself using ducktape.. now she includes repair of this front storm door in this charge.. I don't think its my responsibility...
    Also replacement of all smaller blinds in the house included in this charge of over $1000. Blinds that we had at the beginning were of quite poor quality (cheapest Walmart stuff).. Some blinds are still there, not broken but they look bad (well, they never looked very good, to start with). She even included 3 candelabra bulbs for the kitchen light fixture, which is SUPER old and I am afraid is going to fall on someone's head one day, just like a couple other fixtures fell on us before.. Bulbs in it shouldn't be replaced.. the whole fixture needs to be replaced. Repair of kitchen cabinet is included.. Cabinets have been in the house since it was built.. they look quite bad.. very old and didn't keep up well through the years.. She even meantions repair of a plastic towel rod... Well , plastic rods don't last for that many years...
    This charge of over 1000 isn't itemized, she only lists without much details what she includes in it..but no prices. Apparently there is also some "labor" included in this charge.. wonder what her hourly rate it..
    I agree that she keeps the deposit and the pet fee that we paid. No questions about getting it back. I also paid her 200 when I wasn't able to vacate the place within 30 days of my notice date. It took me longer because there were so many belongings, some are not even mine, some belong to the people who passed, my husband's family who I never met. I also had oncological surgery at the same time I was working on moving out. Her and the owner were notified and the owner agreed that I should take time that I needed, without paying anything extra. It took me until Oct 15th to fully move out. The notice was given on Sept 1st and September rent was paid. Then I also paid 200 in October upon the property manager's request.
    If she wants to charge me on top of deposit, does she have to take me to court? (I m not inclined to pay anything over what I already paid). Or can she just bill me like this and send it to collection if I don't pay? Can she charge for carpet cleaning after us being there so long that carpets clearly need to be replaced?
    I understand that they were losing money when they never increased rent amount, and also they need A LOT of update after we moved out.. but is it legit to make me pay beyond the deposit? What in general should be covered by deposit? Is there any additional "clause" in a situation of a super long rental time?
    Also, is this correct that they only have 30 days since move out date to do what - bill me? take me to court?
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2021
  2. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    Rather than us trying to pick apart what may or may not be normal wear and tear in your specific situation, just review this: Tenant issues and rights for Kansas renters

    One thing I'd like to point out is that glass globes (light fixtures) don't just crumble from "old age".
     
    justblue and army judge like this.
  3. Marybell

    Marybell Law Topic Starter Member

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    thank you, I will need to read this!
    I had two situations with light fixtures
    1- I m sleeping and in the middle of the night the light fixture falls on my blanket, in my feet, thanks goodness Im not hurt (I was lucky to have it fall on the blanket and not on my head, neck) Its broken into several pieces, it seems that it did break first and then fell..
    2- also at night, all of a sudden we hear a sounds of broken glass in the bathroom in the basement. We think someone is breaking in thru the window, everyone is scared to even go look. When I finally go look , I see light fixture on the floor in small pieces..
    What caused both of these, if not old age?
     
  4. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    It sounds to me as if the retaining screws loosened up. Such failures can be prevented by periodic checking and tightening by the tenant. It's routine maintenance that should be performed by the user (the tenant) without needing prompting.
     
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  5. PayrollHRGuy

    PayrollHRGuy Well-Known Member

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    Probably too hot a light bulb.
     
  6. Marybell

    Marybell Law Topic Starter Member

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    maybe yes, maybe no. I don't use anything over 60Watt in that type of fixtures. Also, one of them fell in the part of the house when nobody was turning on the light for a long time (my husband used to take shower there, but after he died, nobody was visiting that bathroom at all).
    It probably doesn't matter why the fixtures broke, they were the cheapest someone can find, I don't mind them being replaced out of my deposit at all. It shouldn't generate a bill over $1000
     
  7. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    I am simply pointing out that there are some damages that you may be responsible for. As I stated in my first response, it does us no good to try to sort out what may, or may not, be normal wear and tear.
     
  8. Marybell

    Marybell Law Topic Starter Member

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    read the document.. no clarity about the case of a very long term rental. I will have to find someone locally to get a consultation.

    About light fixtures.. must be some bad karma - in my new place, saw some glass on the front porch. Turns out that outdoor light glass cover shattered.. Mystical events !
     
  9. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    You know what a long term tenant is? A tenant.
    You know what a short term tenant is? A tenant.
    You know what a "very long term tenant" is? A tenant.

    Legally, the length of time you have been there doesn't change the rules.

    Good idea.
     
  10. Marybell

    Marybell Law Topic Starter Member

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    for example, I would love to find out if they are obligated to change the carpets after so many years
     
  11. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    There is no obligation to change an otherwise serviceable carpet just because it's old.
     
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  12. Marybell

    Marybell Law Topic Starter Member

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    and there is another question - she says we fixed this and that, that's how much we paid and here is your bill. If I don't believe that she fixed something in particular (but is trying to charge me as if it was fixed) - do I have a right to have a proof that she actually fixed it? Like come in and see it with my eyes?
     
  13. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    Nope. Her testimony along with a paid invoice is pretty good evidence that she had it fixed.
     
  14. Marybell

    Marybell Law Topic Starter Member

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    she didnt pay the invoice. It was invoice to herself.
     
  15. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    Then that is easier to attack in court. If she's got receipts for the item, she could argue for reimbursement, but any labor charges for work she did are going to be tough to collect.
     

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