Arelandlord’s required to provide picture documentation in order to charge for damages when a tenant moves out?

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Arelandlord’s required to provide picture documentation in order to charge for damages when a tenant moves out?

I’m leaving my apartment – repainted the walls, plugged all the holes, replaced all lamps, and had the carpet professionally cleaned twice. I received a bill for $985 for carpet and carpet pad replacement for the apartment (dog pee but the dog that we had never went in my room)  To replace the whole carpet is wrong. I think they are exaggerating and pushing to take advantage. They did not provide pictures, just an itemized invoice. How do I dispute? -We had 1 or 2 dog accidents but that was it.

Asked on September 17, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Virginia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

There is no requirement for photographic documentation, though clearly it can be helpful to either or both sides.

If you believe you should pay, either because (1) you didn't cause the damage or (2) the amount being charged is unreasonable, you can either negotiate a lower payment--one you can live with--with the landlord, or else, if you can't agree on something, you may end up in court. At trial, you and the landlord would both present whatever testimony, documents (e.g. receipts or invoices) and physical evidence (e.g. a piece of damaged carpet) you have, and the trier of fact--the jury, or the judge, if it's a non-jury case--will determine who is right and  who is wrong.


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