Can someone legally keep your deposit over curtains?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can someone legally keep your deposit over curtains?

I sold my home, paid rent back on our home
with a 1k deposit. We moved out as
scheduled, cleaned up and threw out our old,
moldy curtains. We left all the blinds, the rods
but threw out the curtains. She wants to keep
our deposit. We returned all the dirty curtains
except one pair. Can she legally keep my entire
deposit for a pair of curtains?

Asked on January 2, 2019 under Real Estate Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

She may only keep an amount equal to the sum of any unpaid rent, the value of anything you take or destroy, and the cost to repair any damage you did in excess of normal "wear and tear." If she keeps more than that, she has violated the law and you could sue her (e.g. in small claims court) for the money's return.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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