Can landlord charge tenant for ordinary wear and tear?


A landlord cannot charge a tenant for ordinary wear and tear. The landlord may try to do this when the tenant moves out and the landlord is trying to keep some of the tenant's security deposit.


Attorney Tom Olsen: Regina, you're on News 96.5 go ahead.

Regina: Hi, how are you?

Attorney Tom Olsen: We're good.

Regina: Good. I have a question, I had moved out yesterday, I was a tenant.

Attorney Tom Olsen: All right.

Regina: I had a $1,475 deposit, it was condo I was renting-

Attorney Tom Olsen: All right.

Regina: -and when I moved out, the landlord in Virginia, he had someone come look at it and started complaining off the top. What had happened is the air conditioner went off like three, four months ago. He had to send someone over, he was blaming me anyway, it was an original air unit from 15 years so the guy fixed it. It was working properly so yesterday he was accusing me of the phenomena is not working and he said he picked totally minor things, there was the original-- I'm sorry, original carpet, the walls were white--

Attorney Tom Olsen: Okay, Regina, let me ask you this, were you at the end of your rental period or did you break your lease and move out?

Regina: He said, "If you give me 60-day notice, you can leave," and I did, that wasn't a problem.

Attorney Tom Olsen: You have properly terminated your lease, therefore, your landlord is required to give you notice within 15 days by certified mail of your landlord's intention to hold on to some or all of your security deposit. The fact that his man was there telling you these things means nothing, Regina. Now, the key here is for you to let your landlord know what your new mailing address is.

Regina: I did. He has it. He has my new mail address.

Attorney Tom Olsen: If your landlord fails to give you proper notice by certified mail, then your landlord waives his rights to hold on to any of your security deposit.

Regina: Within 15 days, I have to get a certified letter?

Attorney Tom Olsen: You got it, yes.

Regina: From yesterday, I moved out yesterday.

Attorney Tom Olsen: That would be true Regina. Right now, you don't know, legally, what's going to happen. You have to wait and sit back and wait and see what happens as far as getting this letter by certified mail. If you get a notice that there's a certified letter waiting for you down the post office, Regina, go down there and get it. Regina, with that said, once we get beyond that issue, your landlord cannot charge you for normal wear and tear. It sounds like some of these issues that you're just raising to me it sounds like normal wear and tear. Regina, if you need more detailed information on this, I suggest that you call Rob at my office at 407-423-5561.