Question for REAL ESTATE attorney.

Asked over 3 years ago - Torrance, CA

I have lived in a rental apartment complex for 2 years (Dec 2008 to Dec 2010) in
the city of Torrance, California, and gave a 1 month notice to the management office before moving out.

A security deposit of $ 950.00 was paid initially and another $ 75 refundable security for
using the gym.

After moving out, I get a letter from the management that I have to pay/owe $ 762
which includes a $590 for paiting and other repairs.

Do I have to pay for the painting after living in the apartment for 2 years ?

Now the landlord has notified a collection agency to squeeze the payment out of me.

Thank you!

Additional information

I have a few more questions pls and would appreciate it can take the time out to reply -

1) The collection agent I spoke to says if I lived in the apt for 3 years, I am not responsible for the painting charges etc. But from your post, I take it it's 2 years and not 3 ? Pls note that the walls have some crayons marking but not holes/damages other than the crayon marks.

2) I am supposed to pay the 762 $ to the collection agency in 2 days before this gets reported to the credit bureau. Do you recomment paying up now to avoid credit score damage and then pursuing a refund later ?

3) If so, what are my options to get a refund of the 762 $ ?

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Steven Alan Fink

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . You are not responsible for normal wear and tear. Your deposit was required to be returned to you within 21 days of your departure under Civil Code Section 1950.5. Any deductions from the deposit had to be supported by receipts for the charges.

    Demand written validation of debt under Section 809 of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

    The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The... more
  2. Frank Wei-Hong Chen

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . No, you should not have to pay for painting of you have lived in the apartment for two years (unless of course, you punched holes in the walls and caused other types of damages, separate and apart from simply paint).

    Shoudl the former landlord sue you for the $762, you should bring a counterclaim for return of your security deposit. See:

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