Dispute non-itemized security deposit deductions

Landlord's vague explanation could be red flag

Q: My family of four recently moved out of a three-bedroom house that we had been renting for more than two years. Unfortunately, the landlord took a while to return my $3,500 security deposit, and he also deducted $518 for "repair and cleaning."

The landlord claims that "repair" is for things that were beyond normal wear and tear, such as handprints on the walls and furniture marks where it touched the walls. I would expect those things to fall under normal wear and tear. However, the landlord did not even itemize how the money was spent.