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barristerinky
barristerinky, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 33802
Experience:  Attorney for over 15 years, landlord 26 years
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My landlord held my entire security deposit -$100 property

Customer Question

My landlord held my entire security deposit -$100 for a property I turned over to them in perfect condition.
A few questions, I was there for 12 months. She is charging me to repaint the entire house (I only agreed to allow her painters repaint two bedrooms that we painted a different color). It is a $2500 sq ft home and she has charged me $6k. I all paid my own painter to come in and spent $1300 touching all minor holes, dents and "dirt or prints" from my small children.
She is also charging me for professional cleaning $550. She told me I was not allowed to clean the house because she had contractors coming in. Didn't she forfeit her right to my paying for cleaning when she had a contractor come in? There are many more to list but I need to know my rights.
She should cover normal wear and tear, does the above constitute normal wear and tear?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  barristerinky replied 1 year ago.
Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I will try my level best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can.
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Did you have permission from the landlord to paint the two bedrooms?
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Did you get the exact same color of paint to perfectly match any touch up areas?
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Did she have contractors come in first, and then charge you for cleaning?
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Do you have pictures of the property to prove its condition when you vacated?
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How about when you moved in?
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thanks
Barrister
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Unfortunately I do not have pictures when I vacated, it was just clean white walls, so I am not sure how a picture would show anything but I have asked to come back in to see all this proposed damage and they ignored my requests. but I did a walk though with her husband. We used the paint that was in the garage, it was the same white paint in the entire home.The husband said it was fine to paint, as long as we painted them back. I allowed them to deduct $1500 to paint the rooms back, that was never an issue. It is the remaining $3k she is charging to repaint the entire house that I had already paid a professional to do. The total deposit was $7k.Keri,
Please find below the breakdown of costs incurred that will be deducted from your deposit.Pursuant to the Residential Lease dated May 7th, 2014, Section 11a/ Tenant shall properly use, operate, and "safeguard" premises, including if applicable, any landscaping,mfurniture, furnishings and appliances,......Pursuant to the Residential Lease dated May 7th, 2014, Section 29 a/ upon termination of this agreement Tenant shall: (IV) clean and deliver Premises to the Landlord in the same condition as specified in Paragragh C below, to Landlord in the same condition as referenced in paragraph 10;Pursuant to the Residential Lease dated May 7th, 2014 Section 29 c/ (i) After giving or receiving notice of termination of a tenancy (C.A.R. Form NTT), or before the end of the lease Addendum 1 supersedes; Tenant has the right to request that an inspection of the premises take place prior to the lease or rental (CAR Form NRI) [Note: Landlord does not sign off on such inspection until after tenant has vacated and any and/all repairs are performed to Landlord satisfaction] If tenant requests such an inspection, Tenant shall be given an opportunity to remedy identified deficiencies prior to termination, consistent with the terms of this Agreement. (III) Any repairs or alterations made to the Premises as a result of such an inspection (collectively "repairs") shall be made at the Tenants expense. Repairs may be performed by Tenant or through others, who have adequate insurance and licenses and are APPROVED by Landlord. Further to my VM, and email to you I noted NOT to have your painter do any work as we have our own experienced crew that we prefer to use. As per the invoice I emailed you for the painting of the rooms which you had painted in your colors at move in, our painter's prices were the same as your painters quotes.Pursuant to the Residential Lease dated May 7th, 2014, Section 30 : Breach of Contract; Early Termination ....Tenant shall be responsible for lost Rent, rental commissions, advertising expenses and painting costs necessary to ready Premises for re-rental. Landlord my withhold any such amounts from Tenant's security deposit.Pursuant to the Residential Lease dated May 7th, 2014, Addendum 1 . 2) Tenant shall give landlord a 60 days notice to vacating the premises or renewal of leasePursuant to the Residential Lease dated May 7th, 2014, Addendum 1. 4) Tenant shall accommodate showings of the property 60 days prior to termination of the lease.Following my telephone conversation with Simon, the gardener at*****, on April 18th, in which he informed me that the sprinklers and grass were damaged at the right side of the garage due to a car being parked there on a number of occasions, we agreed to replace and fix these items after your vacancy as it was clear doing so before your vacancy would be useless.SECURITY DEPOSIT DEDUCTIONSWasher and Dryer Replacement $ 1,825.00
(including install and missing parts)Painting of Rooms to Original Colors $ 1,550.00
as per move-inPainting of Kitchen Cabinets $ 650.00
(damaged and holes due to child locks)Painting of Additional Walls (plus
stucco repair behind upstairs bath door $ 1,750.00
and damage to walls in upstairs hallway)Garbage Disposal Replacement $ 675.00
(disposal plus install)Professional Cleaning Plus Windows $ 450.00
(as noted we will pay the majority although as
noted in the lease we are under no
obligation to do so)TOTAL $ 6,900.00DEPOSIT $ 7,000.00REFUND $ 100.00
Expert:  barristerinky replied 1 year ago.
Ok, if there weren't any damages to the remaining paint in the rest of the house, then they can't charge you for repainting it. Even if there were some areas that needed to be touched up, it wouldn't justify charging you the entire cost of repainting.
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Further, even if the entire house needed to be repainted, unless it was brand new paint when you moved in, the landlord could only charge you the depreciated value of the paint job. Most judges fix this at 5 years. So if the paint was 2 years old when you moved in, the most he could charge you even if the entire house had to be redone is 60% of the cost.
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As for the washer and dryer, if you damaged them, then you would be responsible for the cost to repair. But that looks like replacement cost, which you aren't liable for...just the depreciated value of them depending on how old they were when you moved out.
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The cabinets...if you drilled holes for child locks, then you are responsible for that damage.
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The additional painting and stucco repair I can't really comment on, but if they were damaged during your tenancy, once again..depreciated value, not replacement value.
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Garbage disposal...depreciated value not replacement value.
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Cleaning, again I can't comment whether this is reasonable because I don't know how clean you left it when you moved. If you had pictures, then it would be different because you would have proof. But without proof, it is up to a judge to decide who he believes more.
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With all that said, it definitely does appear that you have been overcharged on any replacement items or repairs because the landlord is charging you the full cost of replacement/repair and not the depreciated value. For example, if the W/D set was 5 years old, then it has zero value and you couldnt' be charged anything, even if you broke them...
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So your recourse her is to file suit in small claims and sue for a refund of some portion of your deposit and then force the landlord to prove that absolutely everything was brand new when you moved in. Even then, they could only charge you 80% of replacement costs if you lived there for a year...
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thanks
Barrister

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