Normal Wear & Tear vs Damages

Cleaning and Repairs a Landlord Can Deduct from a Security Deposit

Typically, landlords may charge tenants for any 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 Normal Wear & Tear

  • 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 Damages & Excessive Filth

  • 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 severe stains
  • 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

Fair Housing Contact Service is a HUD approved Housing Counseling Agency that provides tenants and landlords with information and resources concerning their housing. The information provided on this page is intended to be used for general information regarding your rights as a tenant and the duties of a landlord under the Ohio Landlord Tenant Act. We are not attorneys. The information should not be taken as legal advice as we are not attorneys, but it may help you decide if and when you should pursue legal advice. Be sure to contact an attorney before taking any court action regarding a legal matter.