I rented my home to a family and the home was freshly painted, new carpets , new dual pane windows in every room,new copper plumbing which replaced my galvanized, and I collected a deposit 10 years ago for damages. I now need to replace the carpets, must paint 2 of the 4 bedrooms because of the condition they left them in and have a hole in my linoleum kitchen flooring about 3 inches square, and a broken handle on the dual pane sliding window and a broken thermostat must I return any of their deposit?
1 Answer from Attorneys
You can only retain deposit for damage beyond normal wear and tear. After ten years with no new paint and the original carpet, there is no way you can deduct from the deposit for that; its worn out. The linoleum is a question of what caused it. Did they damage it, or is it just a hole worn by being, say, a high traffic location. Same is true for the handle and the thermostat. Did the tenanats actually break them or did they just fail from being old after 10 years? Unless you can demonstrate that the tenants did actual intentional or negligent damage, rather than just wearing things out, you can't deduct from the deposit.