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Landlord Tenant Laws California. Charges for painting apartment from deposit.

Fairfield, CA |

So I recently moved out of my apartment for a bigger place. I just received the disposition for security deposit and the landlord is charging to paint the apartment in the amount of 415.00 and carpet shampoo $75.00. My issues is the paint fee we lived there for 2 years and left the unit in good condition... Nothing beyond ordinary wear and tear, no paint chips, dirt... Small nail hole where curtain rod hung, I myself work as an apartment manager and we never charge are residents to paint or carpet clean unless it was extremely torn from abuse. So I contacted the landlord and he said that because I did not stay for the expediency of life of paint 7 years then I am responsible for the cost to paint the whole unit 875sq feet. I was given a 50 dollar credit for ordinary wear and tear.

This seems fishy to me.. He also stated that this is routine for all residents. I asked my neighbors who moved out prior to me were they charged, and they were not. The landlord stated that the fee is to restore the apartment to move in condition. Meaning brand new apparently. So why is this not stated in my lease. That unless I stay 7 years I have to pay to have the apartment painted for the next tenant. I have rented many times before and never paid to paint. Im a little confused. I can understand if i left the walls chipped, painted, holes. But none of the above, they were in very good condition , If the paint has a life span of 7 years why are you repainting it after 2 years. What shall I do?

Attorney Answers 1


You can bring a small claims court lawsuit if you believe the landlord improperly deducted from your security deposit. Generally speaking, paint has a life of 2 years, not 7 years.

See this guide beginning at page 53 regarding security deposits:

Frank W. Chen has been licensed to practice law in California since 1988. The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice for a particular case. This posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For specific advice about your particular situation, please consult with your own attorney.

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