@Emilie Ponsin I'd contact an attorney in the NY area. If you need a recommendation, PM me.
If you plugged holes, there could be some charge for primering and painting the damaged areas to match the rest of the rental walls. Normal wear and tear would be cleaning and painting without need for primering or multiple coats. Dirt is also not considered normal wear and tear. Smoke and/or grease residue from smoking or cooking would also not be normal wear and tear. These are just examples. You might try requesting more of a description/breakdown of costs from the landlord to see exactly what was done.
Thanks for all your answer, it is quite useful ! I am having a call with the landlord this coming Friday.
Hey @Emilie Ponsin! Make sure, as Kathy said in her post, to request a breakdown of costs when you speak with your landlord. I personally would ask for receipts from the painters & for the "other supplies." As far as the rent charge, I would have a receipt of payment on your end to prove that you paid your rent in full. Best of luck!
@Emilie Ponsin how did the call go with your landlord? I live in the suburbs of NY and have gone through a similar experience. What you described is normal wear and tear in the eyes of the court and it is very difficult for a landlord to with hold your security deposit for that. Let me know if you need more information.
I personally haven't done this but I'm curious if you can mandate a pre-inspection with the landlord. Move out a week early, fix everything and then have them inspect everything that they would dock from your deposit. The key is moving out early so you have time to make corrections if needed. Then there is no excuse. The problem would be getting them to commit and look at this, I know a lot of management firms utilize these deposits for extra revenue but they need to be fair and give you every opportunity to correct. At least that's my opinion...