I moved into a house and signed the lease on May 7, 2013. I paid $1500 for first and last months rent. I was told not to worry about the additional $750 deposit. I was verbally told that the trash and sewer would be taken care of and that for $50 more a month my lawn would be taken care of as well. During the one year I lived there the foundation fell and the house got a large crack across the middle of the walls in the living room and both of my kids rooms. They couldn't sleep in there in the winter as it was too cold. I addressed the issue many times and nothing was done. My lawn was also not mowed regularly and the grass grew so high my dog wouldn't use the yard, my kids couldn't play, and I got notices from the city. When it came time to move out I received a verbal agreement from the landlord that I had permission to move out on the 12th instead of the 7th without consequence. When the last month came I did not think I needed to pay rent as I already paid first and last upon moving in. However, the landlord asked me to pay it and it would count as the deposit and that I'd get it back after any cleaning/repairs were assessed so I complied. After not receiving any of the deposit back for 2 months I inquired and was told I would only get half back due to cleaning/repairs that were made. I took pictures moving in and out to prove no damage other than the foundation cracking the house. I asked for an invoice and was then told that I owed for trash for a year, I owed for the remaining 19 days in May since I left the 12th, and I owed for cleaning/repairs.
First, I had a verbal agreement to leave the 12th only 5 days later than move in so saying I owe 19 days doesn't add up, especially since I moved in on the 7th. Second, I had a verbal agreement on the trash.sewer and then a written agreement that I would not be charged for it afterall due to the verbal agreement. Third, I have not been answered to my question concerning the repairs. I want to be sure I am not being held responsible for the cracking.
The landlord is trying to only send me half of my deposit even though the repairs only add up to $240. Do I have grounds for small claims court? Thank you kindly.