When I told my landlord I was moving out, she told my husband and I that we needed to spackle any holes in the wall and then paint over the spackle. I didn't think we needed to paint, but I asked her if she wanted us to paint, then she needed to provide the paint. She sent me a picture of the paint she thought matched the paint in the house and that was that. We then went out and bought a can of the exact color paint she sent us and the day we moved out, my husband spackled the picture holes, went to open the paint, put it on the spackle, and we noticed it looked a little too dark. We thought maybe that was because it was wet and thought it would lighten up upon drying. She never did a walkthrough with us (she lives out of state) and asked us to leave the keys in the kitchen. Well today, the new tenants came into the house and saw that the paint is not the same color and now the landlord is mad that she has to repaint the whole house. Can she withhold our deposit for the paint?
The lease will dictate whether you needed to repair the small holes. Generally tenants are not responsible for that type of "repair." She can obviously withhold a portion of your security deposit (literally speaking). The real question you are asking : does the landlord have the right to withhold a portion of your deposit? Your landlord has 45 days to either return the deposit and/or send you an itemization of the deductions. You may have a valid claim to file to have the deposit returned especially if she authorized the color of the paint.
Your lease will likely say if you are responsible to repair before move out. if it is silent on the matter and they withhold security deposit for the cost you may be able to recover if you file suit, however it is important to weight the time cost involved in suing in the event you do not win compared to the cost it would cost to repair walls. Normal wear and tear etc is usually not required to be repaired by the tenant --
The above answer is for general informational and educational purposes only and is in no way to be construed as legal advice, nor does it imply any liability, attorney-client relationship nor representation on the part of the attorney who answered this question. Licensed in MD.
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