Cleaning and Repairs a Landlord Can Deduct from a Security Deposit

Typically, landlords may charge tenants for cleaning of excessive filth or repairs necessary to restore the rental units to its condition at the beginning of the tenancy. However, landlords may not use the tenant’s security deposit to cover the costs of normal wear and tear.

Examples of Ordinary Wear and Tear:
Landlord’s Responsibility

  • Curtains faded by the sun
  • Water-stained linoleum by shower
  • Minor marks on or nicks in wall
  • Dents in wall where a door handle bumped it
  • Moderate dirt or spotting on carpet
  • A few small tack or nail holes in wall
  • A rug worn thin by normal use
  • Worn gaskets on refrigerator doors
  • Faded paint on bedroom wall
  • Dark patches of ingrained soil on hardwood floors
  • Warped cabinet doors that won’t close
  • Stains on old porcelain fixtures that have lost their protective coating
  • Moderately dirty mini-blinds
  • Bathroom mirror beginning to “de-silver” (black spots)
  • Clothes dryer that delivers cold air because the thermostat has given out
  • Toilet flushes inadequately because mineral deposits have clogged the jets

Examples of Damage or Excessive Filth:
Tenant’s Responsibility

  • Cigarette burns in curtains or carpets
  • Broken tiles in bathroom
  • Large marks on or holes in wall
  • Door off its hinges
  • Rips in carpet or urine stains from pets
  • Lots of picture holes or gouges in walls that require patching as well as repainting
  • Stains in rug caused by a leaking fish tank
  • Broken refrigerator shelf
  • Water on wall from handing plants
  • Water stains on wood floors and windowsills caused by windows being left open during rainstorms
  • Sticky cabinet and interiors
  • Grime-coated bathtubs and toilet
  • Missing mini-blinds
  • Mirrors caked with lipstick and makeup
  • Dryer that won’t turn on because its been overloaded
  • Toilet won’t flush properly because it’s stopped up with a diaper.