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Moving out - LL wants to keep deposit for new paint job

Posted by Frustrated in Forest Hills on November 20, 2000 at 20:26:11:

We're moving out and it looks like the landlord is trying to pull a fast one. - We've lived in this apartment (top floor of a private house) in Forest Hills,Queens (NY) for 8 months, but due to many unfavorable experiences in this place (no heat on a regular basis, roaches, mice, repeated unauthorized entries into our apartment without notice, etc), we have decided to move.
We put up wall paper in the bedroom and kitchen when we moved in, and now that we're moving out, we have removed the wallpaper from the walls.
Among MANY other things, the landlord says that he now has to "sand and buff down the walls" in order to "remove the invisible glue that wall paper leaves". He's trying to keep our security deposit. He might try to keep it all or possibly deduct the cost of painting because "we only lived there for 8 months" and he's "only required to repaint every 3 years".
I asked him if he was supposed to repaint the apartment for any new tenant that moves in after me and he said "not if you left it the way I gave it to you".
The walls are NOT wrecked, but the removal of wallpaper left some minor scratches which revealed underlying pink paint, which contradicts what he stated about having "buffed and stripped the walls" before I moved in.
He knows and has admited that he has to spackle and plaster any holes on the walls and repaint, but he's saying that the fact that we wallpapered it means that either we have to repaint or he will "take other action".
Another thing is the fact that he's trying to state that we agreed to 1 month's rent and TWO month's security. I have NEVER heard of that and don't recall seeing that in our lease, nor does that sound normal to me.
So... Can he keep our deposit (almost $3000 if you count it as 2 months deposit!) or deduct painting fees from it, - or... is he responsible for repainting it himself, no matter what the walls LOOK like, assuming of course, that there is no real PHYSICAL damage done to the wall's structure itself? And if there is hope, what legal recourse do I have and/or what Official Housing documentation can I show to him to prove that?
It's Monday, November 20th. We'll be moving out shortly after Thanksgiving. Can someone help us out, please?... Thanks

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