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Advice needed - apartment cleaning charges on a unit to be reno'd

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Long story short - my previous apartment complex had the nerve to charge me for carpet cleaning and touch up paint for an apartment they ADMITTEDLY gutted down to the drywall and subfloor.  They say that they are within their rights to do this (i.e. they get to collect hypothetical charges), but in my mind it seems at least highly unethical, if not an outright fraud to make me pay them for costs they will never incur.  This is completely aside form the fact that carpet and touch up paint are usually defined as normal wear and tear.


What kind of recourse do I have in this situation outside of taking these crooks to court?  Will talking to the TAA lead to anything substantial or is that a dead end?  The dollars involved in here are immaterial, but I have had a litany of issues with management since they acquired the property from AMLI at the end of 2012, and I consider this to be the last straw.  I am absolutely frustrated and feel like I (along with all other tenants) are getting swindled here, so any advice is appreciated.

Edited by houstontiger
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