Exactly what stuff can your landlord charge you from your security deposit?

Trying to figure this out. I'm just moving out and want to make sure they are not ripping me off. Here are the things that they say they are charging me for: 2 stains (on one carpet, one on linoleum kitchen floor), repainting the apartment, cleaning charges, and changing the carpet. Are they really allowed to charge me for all of these or are they just considered "wear-and-tear" that they lawfully can not deduct charges from my security deposit for?
Edit: BTW I'm in Los Angeles, CA

6 years ago - 7 answers

Best Answer

Chosen by Asker

Stains are not "normal wear and tear". Fading is, a little mattign maybe, but not stains.

They can charge you for anything that is differant from when you moved in.

6 years ago

Other Answers

Read your lease and then get a copy of your State's Landord Tenant Act - it will spell out what can and can't be charged. But usually it's whatever is required to return the apartment back to the condition it was when you moved in.

by Jerry - 6 years ago

what Jerry said...each state allows a landlord to charge for certain things as well but it all depends upon what you agreed to in the lease.

by underpants - 6 years ago

I know in Texas they cant charge you to paint because they are required to do that anyway when a new tenant moves in. I am not sure about the other stuff but I am sure it varies from state to state.

by scottsmylie - 6 years ago

Did you return the apartment in the same condition you received it? Stains, dirty appliances, dirty bathrooms, repairing wall holes, and repainting walls that you painted are all chargeable. For some bizarre reason, many tenants think that cleaning, painting, and repairs for stuff they've done is included in rent. "Normal wear-and-tear" does NOT include dirty, stains, tenant painting, or repairing wall holes.

Wall painting and carpet replacement are debateable. Some properties estimate wall painting to last 12 to 18 months. Rental carpets generally can last 3 to 10 years -- depending on the quality. Unless the carpet was new when you moved-in, the carpet charge should be prorated based on the expected remaining lifetime of the carpet.

If you think you are being cheated, appeal the charges in writing via Certified Mail and request copies of the landlord's invoices, work hours, and repair items. Landlords often overestimate charges because most tenants do not contest charges, so they may be willing to offer an additional refund just to settle.

Also, if you paid a cleaning or administrative fee, then the landlord should itemize how that was spent.


by nojam75 - 6 years ago

They definitely can charge you for the stains and for cleaning, depending on what condition you left the apartment in. Most states require that surfaces be clean and floors be "broom clean" meaning you have to sweep or vacuum the floors before you leave but you don't have to wax the floors or run a steam-cleaner. Stains that won't come out, you'll get charged for these.

Painting... that depends on why they painted. If the walls are marked up or dirty, or if you've been there a long time, they can charge you. Most states have an age limit set for paint and if you did any kind of damage (including hanging up posters using scotch tape which can cause the paint to chip) you'll have to pay.

by dcgirl - 6 years ago

They can charge you for the stains on the carpet and linoleum. If the same things are showing just wear then that is normal wear and tear, stains are not. They can charge for any cleaning that you do not do yourself. They can charge for anything that was damaged. If it was working when you moved in and is now broken, you must pay for the replacement. I am a landlord

by Classy Granny - 6 years ago