Hello! 9/1/09 I moved into a large (300+) apartment community in illinois and moved out 8/31/12. I received my bill which was for minor damages and entire apartment carpet replacement which alone was 733. The carpet was new (or so they say) when I moved in. On several occasions I requested the receipt for the carpet installed before I moved in and the receipt for the carpet installed after I moved. After several attempts and much beating around the bush by the office I was sent only the receipt for the carpet installed after I moved out which was for 733. In fear of credit complications i payed the bill.
I admittedly spilled a few times and the carpet was beyond normal wear and tear in SOME areas. My concern is that I was charged the entire amount and not the depreciated value of the carpet I used. The carpet was of a low grade quality which of course I cannot prove without the prior receipt.
In all honestly with the spills in the living room which I did try to clean myself I would personally want to replace the carpeting in that room. Nevertheless I believe it unwarranted for them to charge me for the new carpet replacement and not depreciated value. I am aware that the difference in price may be insignificant but because of the principal of the matter I am planning on sending an intent to sue letter and if it isn't settled, filing a civil suit. I begin law school in a few months and issues like this are important to me because I am Certain the owners of this large complex too often receive unjustified amounts because of tenants being ingnorant of their rights.
Also, the community and it's debt was purchased by a different company since I moved so I plan on sending it there still. Is that correct?
Am I correct in that I should have been charged a depreciated value (despite some of the damage being beyond normal wear? Is there anything you would recommend me mentioning or referencing in the intent to sue letter to get them to settle.
1 Answer from Attorneys
You were not legally entitled to the receipt for the carpet on the move-in unless the landlord agreed to provide you a copy in your lease.
As to the replacement carpet on move-out, Illinois law is that you are supposed to be sent your security deposit back (with interest in large apartment complexes like yours) less damages within 30 days after move-out but if it takes the landlord longer to actually make the fixes, the landlord has to at least send you an estimate in 30 days after move-out and then actually return the security (less actual deductions) within 45 days after move-out -- you are entitled to a receipt for the cost of the replacement carpet. There is NO obligation to "prorate" any depreciated value with you.
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