Newsflash: [MA] I question the amount my landlord wants to charge for repairs.

I’m currently leaving an apartment after three years and where I’ve lived with my wife and three cats. Amid the commotion and confusion of packing things up one of those three cats had gone into hiding and at least a couple of times used a particular spot in the corner of the stairs as her litter box (the hiding in times of change is normal for her – she’s a nervous cat – but the accidents are a first). Cat piss sucks, I know this, so I’m perfectly happy to take responsibility for this. Landlord wants the carpet shampooed (in terms of lease anyway) and to replace the floorboard underneath where the accidents occurred. I’m on board, none of this is a problem.I shopped around and got some quotes and asked about getting the work done. She comes back and says “actually my friend’s a carpenter and he’ll do it for just the cost of parts, I want to go with him”. Ok, still on board just let me know when he’s going to come.Last night I get a text asking for a check for $900, the floorboards will be $450 each and she noticed a small stain on the carpet outside the bathroom and since that’s where the litter box is she’s SURE that the cat peed there as well. I strongly disagree with this assessment and told her so – there’s no scent there and I’m fairly certain it’s a blood stain from myself and not related to cat urine. She responded by basically saying I was a liar, the cats probably peed everywhere and that she had receipts for the two boards and that there may be more to come she won’t know until they pull up the carpet. So the questions I have are…I’ve seen the “receipts” (they’re actually quotes) and they’re literally handwritten scrawl that says “2 floorboards at $450 ea.” The quotes I got for the same work varied from $80 (with conditions) up to $195 to replace a single 4ft by 8ft floorboard. Is there any recourse that I have if I can show that despite her receipts her charge are way out of line with market rates?I do not believe the second floorboard contains urine stains (and he she thinks this is beyond me as the carpet is still tracked down in that area, so she hasn’t seen it either). She claims that she will be replacing the carpets and will be charging me for any more urine stained boards. I don’t believe there are any and have asked if I could be present when the carpet is pulled up, she said absolutely not. What – if any recourse – do I have if she comes back and tries to charge me for a whole new subfloor because she claims that there are urine stains everywhere ( which she had intimated she might do)? Is it simply my word against hers (and the contractor – who is her friend) and is there anything I can do to protect myself in the meantime? This carpet was not professionally done and is simply stapled onto the subfloor with no padding or barrier whatsoever so I’m sure that something as small as a tablespoon of Kool aid has probably gone right through and stained the boards at some point in the past.As I said before, cat pee sucks and I don’t want to screw over anyone but I’m starting to get the suspicion that she’s trying to pull one over on me and want to protect myself in any way I can. Thanks for any advice.



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