How can I get my security deposit back if it is being held due to 2 small stains on the carpet?
Question Details: I moved out. I was never late on rent and the house was clean. I had the carpets professionally cleaned, however there were 2 stains that they could not get out. I was up front and showed the landlord prior to moving out. The carpet was not new when I moved in 2 years ago. In fact, it was probably the original carpet that was put in when the house was built 8 years ago. I have pictures of how I left the house. They have not returned my deposit and when I asked they said they were waiting to hear back from a carpet stain removal company. I did a little research online and I believe state law says they have to return the deposit within 14 days. What can I do? O moved out 22 days ago.
Based on what you write, it appears that the stains did occur while you were living there. If so, and if they were beyond simple normal "wear and tear" (which they probably were, if you are referrring to them as "stains"), the landlord may deduct the cost to remove the stains or, if they can't be removed, replace the carpet from your security deposit and only return any remaining balance after doing so. (Even older carpet may be legally replaced at the tenant's cost if the tenant caused stains to it.)
If you disagree and believe that you did not cause those stains, or disagree with how much the landlord withholds (or how long he is withholding without documenting his cost to remediate and returning any remaining balance), you can sue (e.g. in small claims court, acting as your own attorney, or "pro se") for the return of the deposit. But be aware that if the landlord can show you caused the stains and can prove a reasonable cost to stain remove, repair, or replace, he will be entitled to that amount.