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Landlord failed to prove reason for deposit witheld, what can I do?

Posted by B. Watkin on May 30, 2001 at 17:44:25:

I moved out of an apartment at the beginning of march to move 15 miles closer to work. When I moved out, I tried to clean and place everything back to where it was when I first moved in.

A month later, I recieved a paper with $289 of a $400 security deposit. Reasons were, a main sewer line clog due to sanitary napkins and cigarette butts. The sanitary napkins were not my deal, but the cigarette butts could have been. I complained to my landlord about it, and he said he said on the paper that I paid for 1/3 of the cost. The house was an old victorian with 4 apartments, 2 upstairs, and he lived in the 2 downstairs. There's a lady that lived right beside me. I don't see how removing a clog like that could have cost $300.

I wanted to get some proof, so I called and asked him to send me a copy of the bill from the repair. He said he would send me one, but I never recieved it. I sent him a letter once again asking for a copy of the bill, and 2 weeks have gone by and nothing. I asked for the bill in the end of March, now it's the end of may and I still haven't recieved it. I haven't cashed the deposit check he sent me because I don't want to seem that I'm agreeing to that refund.

He also charged me one full day's rent when my girlfriend and I had moved out in the middle of the day. I thought that was kind of prickish, but I know it's legitimate.

I want proof of the $100 witheld from me, and I don't want to just give up. If I recieve the bill, call the repairman and find it to be legit, I'll let it go, but if it's not, I want the rest of my money. I've heard of landlords making things up so that they can keep $100 or so here and there from tenants. I also can't stand the guy, never could, that's also why I'm not letting this go. What can I do to light a fire under his ass? I was thinking of taking legal action, but I don't know if I would have a case. I'm getting suspicious because he won't prove the repair.

I don't check this board much or anything, so if anyone has any info that would be of use for me please send me an email ( I greatly appreciate it.

Also all of this has taken place in the state of Pennsylvania, I don't know if that makes a difference.

Thanks in advance,

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