During the middle of COVID, I was in a rush to find living as a college student in California. Last minute, found a place, rent was relatively cheap. But the security deposit was pretty steep. One of my roommates had already been living there a year. Owner of the house never came to the property himself, dealt through an agent. The agent never did any inspections during the time of the previous tenant’s and relied on that roommate to report back to him. My roommate said everything was fine, and without any further questioning, the landlord gave back the deposit in full to the previous tenants. However, when I moved in, the house was in a bad shape. It has been like this for 4 years, apparently, since the agent never comes in to look. Carpet was black, paintjob in the walls were discolored, lights were broken, water heater was 15 years old, etc. We did cleaning ourselves pre-move in by ourselves because of how bad the state of the carpet was. Now since EVERYONE is moving out due to graduation, no one is renewing the lease and the agent finally has to come in to look. 21 days are up and we are getting around 90% of our deposit taken. I took pictures right when I moved in, but my phone ended up getting destroyed about 6 months ago and have no way to recover the pictures. All I have are some random photos of some carpet that are sent in a groupchat showing how dirty it is as we were going to clean it. Is there anything we can do to offset how much is getting taken away? I know that we didn’t fully complete everything that tenants should do as security for deposit such as making sure we had pictures, stuff like that. But we were inexperienced college students renting a place for the first time, and finding a place during COVID since my first place fell through kinda made me forgetful, and lesson already thoroughly learned. 🙂 Any advice appreciated.