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C.Fortunato, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 8023
Experience:  Expert in Landlord/Tenant Law. Licensed Real Estate Broker.
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After two year lease is tenant responsible to paint or carpet

Customer Question

After two year lease is tenant responsible to paint or carpet cleaning for normal wear and tear -- no damage? Landlord so pleased with our tenancy that he offred to reduce rent from $8,000 to $6,000 if we stayed but witheld $8,100 in deposit for painting when we decided to leave. Never informed us at inspection or offered chance to remedy.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  C.Fortunato replied 7 years ago.
Hi Gtown,
Unless there is a specific agreement in writing to the contrary, a landlord is not allowed to make a tenant pay for everyday wear and tear to the apartment. This includes routine carpet cleaning and painting.
If the landlord will not return your deposit, you can take him to Small Claims Court to get your money back.
C.Fortunato and 3 other Real Estate Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Can I go in to small claims caught for $8,000 in CA? Who determines if wear and tear is more than normal -- again, inspection with landlord an agent indicTED ONLY LAWN SHE BE REPLANTED, NOTHING ELSE.

Expert:  C.Fortunato replied 7 years ago.
Thank you for accepting my answer, and for the bonus!
You can sue for up to $7500 in California Small Claims Court. If you want to ask for more, you would have to use a "higher-up" court and would need an attorney for that. You do not need an attorney for Small Claims.
Ultimately, a judge would have to decide if the wear and tear was more than routine. If it is too late to take pictures, but you will be able to testify that you were not informed at the inspection that there was a problem (the landlord is supposed to give you the chance to do any repairs or cleaning yourself), and to the fact that the landlord was so happy with you that he offered reduced rent to get you to stay (landlords usually can't wait to get rid of tenants who cause damage).
It will also help if the landlord cannot provide receipts to prove what he needed the money for.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Thank you for your assistance. We do have some photos and agent was also present for inspection. Estimate for lawn repair was $300 but ended up being $1,100. Land lord also offered to lower rent because he indicated that out of five proerties he leased out in So. California we were only tenants who were never late with $8,000 a mo. rent.

Thank you again.

Expert:  C.Fortunato replied 7 years ago.
The photos should help prove your case. Also, the landlord may just settle rather than having to go to court.

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