Switching apartments triggers surprise fee

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Q: After my lease was up, I asked to move to a different apartment in the building. Management charged me a $200 fee for repainting and new carpeting. But I didn’t pay this fee when I initially moved in, and new tenants at this time don’t pay it either. Is this legal? –Judith M.

A: Management has charged you a "move-in fee," which is a one-time fee that’s intended to reimburse the landlord for costs associated with processing a new tenant. Typically, they include new keys, the value of management’s time spent processing the lease and introducing the tenant to the property, and so on.