Landlord will not refund full security deposit

By Marie

My boyfriend and I moved out of our previous home on 9/30/11 and we cleaned it according to the list we were provided by the former landlord.  I put well over 20 hours of cleaning into the home so that we could receive our full deposit of $995.  Well, after the 31 days of waiting for the refund, we only received $600 back and of course we were angry because of how much of our time we put into cleaning it so that we could receive the full deposit.  On the move-out inspection list they gave us, it only stated that we have been charged for cleaning above normal wear/tear of $150 and damages/repairs above normal wear/tear of another $150.  We know that this is incorrect for one because of all the time we put into cleaning the unit and secondly, we also took video of the entire place inside/outside to prove that we did infact clean the whole unit and that there were no damages we caused.  So we called an attorney who said that they were required to send us an "accounting" of why they kept some of the deposit (which they did not until after we had the attorney send a letter) otherwise they should have given us the full deposit back.  So we’re at a month and a half after we have moved out and we received a letter back from the former landlord stating what the charges are for and that they are still not going to refund what we feel are owed (which is $300).  Upon reading the move-out inspection they finally provided, it appears that we have been charged to replace a door and door frame for the upstairs bathroom due to a hole that is 2"X2" (according to the landlord) of which we did not damage.  We have proof of this as well.  We have the move-in inspection that clearly states there is a hole in the upstairs bathroom, and we were also charged to have some lightbulbs replaced and as far as the cleaning goes, they have stated that it is for "light cleaning".  So my questions are: should we take them to court for $300?  According to Oregon law, we can sue for twice the amount and court fees.  Second question is, are they allowed to charge us for damage that was caused by the previous tenant before us?  As far as the cleaning goes, they said we were charged for "light cleaning", how is that considered above normal wear/tear? 

Edited on: Friday, January 17th, 2014 2:49 pm

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