I have been living in a apartment in a 2-family house, of which the landlord lives downstairs and rents out the 2 other rooms. I signed an 18 month lease over 4 years ago, and have been living up there without an updated lease since. I just moved out this past weekend, of which I gave my landlord the requested 30 day written notice. I hired a professional cleaner to come in out of courtesy to my landlord, as I had been living there for the past 4 years and knew there would be some normal "wear and tear" related dirt after the furniture was moved. Last night I went up to my apartment to do my own "walk through", as my landlord and I have been unable to agree on a time that worked for both our schedules. I even had my parents there as a second opinion on the condition of the apartment, who agree that the apartment looks fine other than normal holes in the walls from pictures and such. I then returned my keys in the mailbox this morning, as requested by my landlord.
Today, after I returned my keys, I got an e-mail from the landlord. She is stating that the apartment has food and mouse feces all over the counters, trash left everywhere, stains on the rugs and obvious cat claw marks ruining the window screens, and no attempt to fix the holes or re-paint the walls. The apartment is in an old house, and I have been asking for the apartment to be re-painted and the carpets to be replaced since I moved in, in which she refused as she is trying to buy the house out from her ex (and doesn't want the house to be worth more). Last night, I took pictures of the apartment before I left, and there is no obvious evidence of any of her claims. She is stating she will get me an estimate of all of the repairs that need to be done, including the apartment being professionally cleaned AGAIN.
I am wondering how far I should take this, as "normal wear and tear" is so vague. I do not feel I am liable for any of the security deposit being held back, other than for the cost to repaint the 2 rooms I was authorized to paint 3 years ago. I have the copy of my lease, which is just a standard lease and doesn't say much about the condition the apartment when I moved in, so neither one of us can really prove who is at fault for the minor stains and fraying of the carpets, or the fraying of the window screens.
Can someone please help me?