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Can I charge my tenant for paint and carpet cleaning after they move out?

Elgin, IL |

My tenant has ruin my carpet between all of her cats and being just plain dirty. My walls need to be painted again before I can even put it up for rent. What can I or cant I charge her for, because she is wanting her full deposit back

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Attorney answers 3


In Texas, my experience has been that paint & carpeting are considered ordinary wear and tear, and not something that a landlord can charge the tenant for. You'll probably want to limit yourself to actual damage to the property.


There's ordinary wear and tear, and then there's abuse. If you allowed a pet without a pet deposit (many landlords simply make it non-refundable to allow for this kind of situation), you may be held to have assumed a level of pet "mess". But if the place needs a complete repainting and areas of the carpet are soiled beyond shampooing after a 1 year lease, that sounds like abuse. But remember you must return the deposit and/or with deductions/estimates and follow up with paid receipts within the statutory period, or you could be liable for full return plus a penalty!!! PS take pictures too......

The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is currently licensed to practice law actively only in the State of Illinois, inactively in Florida. Responses are based solely on Illinois law unless stated otherwise.


The issue is whether the "wear and tear" is "ordinary" or not. Ordinary wear and tear is typically the cost of doing business as a landlord. Pets urinating on carpets and walls is not ordinary.