Virginia  |  Real Estate Law

Legal Question

Asked on: 5/23/13, 2:02 pm

I rent from a property management company in a small college town. Initially I intended to sub-lease from a woman but the company would only let me sub-let for 1/2 of her lease, 6 months out the 12 month term. So they offered me a "re-sign" lease. To my understanding this meant I could re-signed the lease on behalf of the original tenant but my rights as a renter would be withheld. The original terms of the lease remained with the previous renter while I accepted all legal accountability on their behalf. I agreed because I had no where else to go, she had already moved out, we were in a pinch. I am concerned because of the security deposit and check-out process at the end of the lease, July 2013. They refused me a walk through and said that as a "re-signer" I was taking responsibility for the condition of the apartment as-is. However, I still had to fork over a month's rent for a NEW security deposit. I asked them if they had the right to take all of my security deposit, no questions asked. They said yes. The apartment has some issues that have absolutely nothing to do me or anyone else who has ever lived here. The carpet is old and unraveling, there are ceiling tiles missing, the paint job is terrible, appliances old, windows are terrible, etc, etc. My question, finally, is, does the rental company have the right to charge me, in addition to my security deposit, for general repairs on the apartment? For example, they want to replace the carpets or re-mold, re-paint the walls, could they make me pay this? I know this is a very specific question, circumstantial I'm sure, but I want to be able to protest if they in fact want me to pay for general repairs. Thank you in advance if anyone takes the time read all this/answer my question.

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