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Landlord making false claims and keeping deposit!!

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hi ... i'm located in oakland, california and desperate for help ... my landlord sent me a notice after moving out of her place and kept the majority of my deposit ($700 out of $800). she made a lot of false accusations against me. These are some of her accusations:

1.) i damaged her down comforter ... (i do have a document saying that there were stains on the comforter prior to me moving in. but she took out of my deposit money to dryclean the comforter, travel to the drycleaner, her time, and because it couldn't be cleaned she charged me for a new comforter at a cost of $400.)

2.) i threw out her underwear and checkbook. she said she filed a police report about the checkbook. (there was a bag put aside by the trash with underwear in it ... i figured these were trash items and didn't really want to go through them ... so i put my trash with them. there could have been a check book in there, i don't know.)

3.) there are marks on the walls (... the room i rented was furnished. i only stayed there for 4 months and didn't put anything on the walls ... i hardly added anything to the room.)

i definately want to take her to small claims court but i don't know where to begin with this. i don't know how to prove that i didn't steal/damage any of her stuff. and she claims she has evidence that i did! she is a nutcase and needs to be stopped!

please offer any advice ... thank you



Good luck on this one.. Was the document that you have written about the damage to the comforter signed by the landlord? You can write your landlord a negotiation letter to try and get some of your deposit back. The burden of proof is on the landlord and she must prove that the damage done was no doubt by you! She also has to prove that she paid for a $400 down comforter! If the negotiation does no good.. you write her another letter stating in 7 days you will file in Small claims court for wrongful witholding deposit. (7 day demand letter). If no response, file in court.
Dont forget to keep an identical copy of all paperwork for yourself. Send Certified with return receipt requested. Good luck!

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