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Minor Contruction Debris

I have a rental where there was mold growing in the bathroom.  I had someone come over and remove all the sheetrock and put up new insulation and sheetrock.  The bathroom was painted and looks brand new.  During the construction, there was some dust from sanding that escaped the bathroom and the tenant claims it has covered his apartment entirely and he wants me to send a housekeeping service over to clean it up.  I spoke with the construction crew and they agree that they did see some dust covering the couch and coffetable which is right outside of the bathroom but the tenant has property all over the place that they didn't want to move anything to vacuum.  The tenant now said he is withholding rent because of an habitability issue.  He even says there is dust that is inside all of his kitchen cabinets which could not have happened because the kitchen is down the hall and around the corner from the bathroom and all the cabinets were closed.  He has some serious housekeeping issues.  I kindly asked if he could clean it up about 8 days ago and he did not respond and now that the March rent is due, he says he is not going to pay.  Can he do that?  I've had construction done at my personal residence and I know that dust flies around but I just clean it up.  What should I do?
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As you know, drywall dust finds it way into places that cause you to shake your head. It is the responsibility of the company to make sure that the bathroom was properly secured. Their admission that they saw dust supports the tenant. Therefore, I would try to get the company to pay for someone to clean the place as tenant requested.  I would have the place cleaned. This will keep your tenant happy. Consider the cost of vacancy and finding a new tenant. It should cost between $150 - $300 (my estimate w/o seeing the place. Try Merry Maids). I would than send the bill to the company asking them to reimburse you. The tenant “may” have the right to hold SOME rent (not all) to have the place cleaned by him hiring a cleaning co. Demand a receipt.   While you’re having the place cleaned, send a letter to the company stating the facts about the dust and ask them to agree to pay for cleaning. Depending on their response, it may help you should you decide to take it to Small Claims.  Note: It wasn’t clear as to who did not want “to move anything.” If it was the tenant, that’s another story.
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