What are the laws regarding charging items to tenants after they move out?

UPDATED: Feb 16, 2012

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What are the laws regarding charging items to tenants after they move out?

I am being sued by a previous landlord and do not feel I owe them what they are claiming. What kind of legal standing do I have? I lived in the apartment for 7 years and they are trying to charge over $400 for maintenance, including over $100 for new blinds, even though it showed on my move-out inspection that I had already put new blinds in the apartment. They did not send my itemized statement to me until over a month after I moved out.

Asked on February 16, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Illinois


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Your question is somewhat vague, but I will try to answer it. In a situation where there has been a 7 year lease, many items such as carpeting, rugs, and paint simply wear out through normal wear and tear. In your situation, custom and practice is for the landlord to replace items that have worn out on their own through no fault of the tenant at the landlord's cost.

The blinds that you have written about could simply have worn out through normal use or sunlight or the combination of both. If so, the landlord should pay for the replacement of the 7 year old blinds.

I would write the former landlord a letter setting forth which items you are contesting being charged for. Keep a copy of the letter for future need and replacement.

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