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"Broom Clean good Condition?"

Posted by K. Doe on November 13, 2000 at 23:17:08:


I live in NY (on long island). We've just left a bad relationship with a despicable landlord after 2 years. He is now trying to nickel-and-dime us out of our $3000.00 security deposit (which we suspect was never put into an account).

There is a LOT to this story which I will not explain here for space purposes. The bottom line is this:

After the 2nd time this landlord took us to court on bogus charges in an effort to evict us (so that he could sell his house in this unblievably high market) we signed a stipulation of settlement. The stip says that the tenant must return the premises by October 31, 2000 in "broom-clean good condition, reasonable wear and tear excepted..."

We removed all the garbage from the house and vacuumed the floors, there were no gaping holes in walls/floors/ceilings, etc and we spackled the small holes from picture frames, etc. We didn't go nuts mopping and sponge-cleaning the fridge, etc. Upon the walkthrough with the landlord, he felt that we should have cleaned the carpets, painted, and dusted the screens. He cited miniscule chips on the egdes of tiles where they met a hardwood floor (I never even noticed them until he pointed them out). He wants to charge us to replace the $22 dimmer light switches that we installed, even though we replaced $8 switches. All are in good working order.

I guess my question is, Is there a textbook definition of 'broom clean condition' and 'normal wear and tear'? If so, what is it?

What it comes down to is that we left the place in very good condition until looked at by a vindictive landlord witha magnifying glass. What's he entitiled to here?

I'd gladly give up $100 for a cleaning service just to have him out of my life.

Thanks in advance.

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