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Can I make repairs on my place that I am renting so I am not charged later by the landlord?

Los Angeles, CA |

I damaged the home I am renting accidentally, and now the manager wants to charge an exorbitant amount to fix. I am wondering whether I can pay someone to do the exact same repairs so I am not charged. There is some minor water damage to a floor and also a counter top needs to be replaced. Is this something that I am allowed to have someone fix before I move out?

Attorney Answers 3


  1. Best answer

    Repairs to damage caused by a tenant can be made at the tenants direction and cost however it would be wise to have the LL agree the repairs made were adequate. One way of doing this is to include a third party satisfaction clause in your contract with the repairman; the third party being your LL.

    -Michael R. Juarez Law Office of Juarez and Schaeffer PO Box 16216 San Diego, CA 92105 (619) 804-4327 www.jslaw.org Mike@jslaw.org This posting is provided for “information purposes” only and should not be relied upon as "legal advice." Nothing transmitted from this posting constitutes the establishment of an attorney-client relationship. Applicability of the legal principles discussed here may differ substantially in individual situations or in different jurisdictions.


  2. Sure--but, keep in mind that it doesn't necessarily mean that the landlord still won't try to charge you (for some or all of the amount). Hope this helps.


  3. Yes, these appear to be repairs that you can undertake as part of avoiding deductions from your security deposit under CC 1950.5. I suggest you have the landlord give you an estimate of what he would charge you if he makes the repairs himself – assuming you are moving out—he is obligated to give you a written estimate under cc 1950.5(f)(1) and subsection (2) which states:
    (2) Based on the inspection, the landlord shall give the tenant an
    itemized statement specifying repairs or cleaning that are proposed
    to be the basis of any deductions from the security the landlord
    intends to make pursuant to paragraphs (1) to (4), inclusive of
    subdivision (b). This statement shall also include the texts of
    paragraphs (1) to (4), inclusive, of subdivision (b). The statement
    shall be given to the tenant, if the tenant is present for the
    inspection, or shall be left inside the premises.
    (3) The tenant shall have the opportunity during the period
    following the initial inspection until termination of the tenancy to
    remedy identified deficiencies, in a manner consistent with the
    rights and obligations of the parties under the rental agreement, in
    order to avoid deductions from the security.

    Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on, as each situation is fact specific, and it is not possible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and court pleadings filed in the case. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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