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Roger, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 31766
Experience:  BV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell; SuperLawyer rating by Thompson-Reuters
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I am getting ready to move out of house Ive leased for a year

Resolved Question:

I am getting ready to move out of house I've leased for a year as I'm buying a house. I have two questions regarding demands made on us by property managers. (We are in California).

1) The home was in process of renovation before we moved in. Some of the improvements had not yet been done as promised on move-in. The property managers gave me a "reduction" of $200 in the 1st month's rent to compensate for the inconvenience. The problem is that at time this was done, they had me sign a new lease agreement where they sneakily added a week to my lease agreement. Now I'd like to leave when the original lease would have been up, but they are holding me to paying them for that extra week. I should add that I'm leaving the place in considerably cleaner and in nicer condition than when they gave it to me. (I've been letting them show the place to others by appointment, hoping to find new tenants for them).

2) They are also stating that I'm responsible for buying new batteries for all of the smoke detectors, putting new light bulbs in all of the fixtures, and spackling all holes and touch up painting with paint they will provide. I don't really mind these things so much except that I've already done so much to improve their property at my own effort and expense. Just wondering if they can legally deduct from my deposit if I don't meet these demands.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Roger replied 7 years ago.

You're bound by the terms of the agreement, and if they sunk in another week on your lease, and you didn't catch it, there's probably nothing you can do about it now.


You're not responsible for normal wear and tear items - such as batteries, light bulbs, small holes in the sheet rock, paint, etc. You are only responsible to pay for major damages like large holes in the sheet rock, ruined carpet, or other unusual damages. Legally, you're not required to do the things they've asked of you.



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Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Thank you very much. I must admit, that even knowing they can't legally ask these things I'm a bit afraid not to comply. I fear they may retaliate by trying to keep deposit somehow. I know I could probably prevail in small claims court, but is it worth the hassle? I don't know..


I also forgot to ask about carpet shampooing. I was going to do it just to be nice, but they are demanding it. Is this something they can legally demand? Thank you, Jennifer

Expert:  Roger replied 7 years ago.

It's way cheaper to put new light bulbs and batteries in the smoke detectors and move on.


All they can require you to repair are things that are above normal wear and tear as described above.

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