Real Estate Law
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Can you tell me how long ago they moved out?
Did they ever ask for permission to paint?
Ok, then if they never asked for and received permission, then repainting the walls is considered "damage" to the property and you can charge them the depreciated cost having it repainted. The courts typically apply a 5 year depreciation schedule to paint so if they were there for 3 years and it was freshly painted before they moved in, you can charge them 40% of the cost of repainting. You could try and charge them a larger amount, but if they challenged it in court, they would likely win.
Just make sure that you send them an itemized invoice with the costs within 21 days of them moving out as required by CA law.
As an aside, in addition to being an attorney, I have also been a landlord for over 26 years...
It is considered "damage" but the original paint is at least 3 years old.. As I said, you can try and charge them the full cost of repainting, but if they challenge it, I think a judge would only allow you the depreciated cost...
It depends on when you painted last, not how many times they painted.. So assuming it was brand new fresh paint when they moved in, that starts the depreciation clock.
Cleaning costs are deductible from the deposit as well. If they can't be removed and have to be sanded and refinished, that would be considered damages that were deductible from the deposit as well as long as you have documentation that they couldn't be cleaned and had to be refinished.