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my driveway

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What is the name of your state? CA

So I moved out of my house and my land lord said she wanted to charge us $200 for power washing the driveway. We cleaned it ourselves and it looks better than it did when we moved in. (our nieghbor came over and said so.) We took pictures. Our landlord (who has not been to the house in 6 years) said it didnt matter what we did to it, she was having it professionally power washed anyways. She didnt care. I do not know what the next step is... and I do not know if this is her legall right. I really dont want to have to go to court.
She is also changing the locks, are we responsible to pay for this? I have never had a landlord change the locks when I moved out before.
One more thing.... She decided to repaint the house, and I spoke with the painter (since she insisted that we let them paint before we were completly moved out..... she said since there were 31 days in the month... she got to have the last day of the month...)
He would not give me the estimate of the paint job, but he did tell me that he repainted two rooms that were painted when we moved in, and the other rooms that were painted when we moved in, were just touch ups.. We are ONLY responsible for a 1/3 of that right?? Not the whole house???


Senior Member
Sea lock changes are normal business for anyone one with rentals in between tenants . ( most people trust that the locks have been changed in between tenants) this lock change should have no bearing on your dep . now when your former LL sends out statement with in the time your state law says about deposit and how money is held back from it If cleaning the driveway is listed and you want to dispute it your going to have to go to your countys small claims court desk and file a claim disputing what is held . when court comes you take with you the letter you get re deposit and your pics of everthing and you will have to let a judge decide .

CA. Landlady

Also, while you wait for the itemized statement to be sent to you, try to get some bids of how much a contractor would charge to power wash the driveway. I find $200 steep and it's actual to be charged to you not some drummed up amount the owner feels it's worth to her that she wants to charge you. That way maybe you can argue the work was not only unneccessary but the landlord acted in bad faith. Some judges award statutory damages when a landlord acts in bad faith. I think you may be able to prove you went out of your way to avoid a civil action in this matter and to return the home to the owner as given excluding normal wear and wear.

Hearsay in CA. is the judges do not award much of any painting costs to owners especially considering how long you lived there.

Regarding the locks: Didn't you return the keys? Is there anything in your lease where you agreed to have the locks replaced at your expense upon move out? Were the locks broken when you moved out?

Did you fill out any sort of move-in inspection form or list upon move in to document the condition of the home? It would certainly help in court.

Also, while you wait you may want to try to nip this in the bud beforehand. Write her a demand letter (CMRRR and keep a copy for your records) reviewing the conversations you have had. Let her know you disagree with what she has verbally mentioned she will charge you and you feel strongly that you returned the home to her as given not to exceed ordinary wear and tear in good faith. Write that you anticipate a return of your deposit in full in good faith to avoid civil action and remedies per CA. Civil Code 1950.50. If she charges you for other things you have not already discussed you will want to write her another demand letter challenging the charges if you disagree and give her two weeks to respond. Then, if things are not resolved between you, you will want to file in court.
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