How much is a landlord able to charge per hour for labor?

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How much is a landlord able to charge per hour for labor?

My landlord is charging us $20/hour to make necessary repairs to the apartment that we vacated after living there for 3 years. I know they made the repairs themselves and didn’t hire an outside source. Also, I feel that they have embellished on the amount of time actually spent doing the repairs in the home. What are my options?

Asked on March 22, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Wisconsin

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The landlord can NOT charge for their own time, including the time of any staff on payroll (e.g. a superintendent or building engineer). They may only charge for the time billed to them by outside contractors, companies, etc., and they may bill you the actual amount billed to them--though they can't charge you a clearly excessive amount, so you could challenge it if either the rate or the hours seems too high. If they've already given you back your security deposit, you can ignore their claim for money until and unless they sue you--then you'd have to defend yourself, but they'd have to prove their claim. If they are withholding some or all of your security deposit, you may bring a lawsuit (including in small claims) for its return and the landlord would have to substantiate the amounts taken out.


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