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Security Deposit Checklist

Jun 27, 2014
Shamis & Gentile, P.A.
Landlord Tenant Lawyer

Landlord Tenant Lawyer – Security Deposit Checklist

Landlords are permitted to deduct from security deposits for damage or excessive filth, but not for ordinary wear and tear. 

Normally, landlords will charge tenants for any cleaning or maintenance necessary to restore the rental unit to its original condition at the beginning of the tenancy. Landlords may not, however, use the tenant’s security deposit to cover the costs of ordinary wear and tear. Here are some examples of wear and tear versus damage or excessive filth:


Ordinary Wear and Tear: Landlord’s Responsibility

Damage or Excessive Filth: Tenant’s Responsibility

1. Curtains faded by the sun

1. Cigarette burns in curtains or carpets

2. Water-stained linoleum by shower 2.  Broken tiles in bathroom
3.  Minor marks on or nicks in wall 3. Large marks on or holes in wall
4. Dents in the wall where a door handle bumped it 4. Door off its hinges
5. Moderate dirt or spotting on carpet 5. Rips in carpet or urine stains from pets
6. A few small tack or nail holes in wall 6. Lots of picture holes or gouges in walls that require patching as well as repainting
7. A rug worn thin by normal use 7. Stains in rug caused by a leaking fish tank
8. Worn gaskets on refrigerator doors 8. Broken refrigerator shelf
9. Faded paint on bedroom wall 9. Water damage on wall from hanging plants
10. Dark patches of ingrained soil on hardwood floors that have lost their finish and have been worn down to bare wood 10. Water stains on wood floors and windowsills caused by windows being left open during rainstorms
11. Warped cabinet doors that won’t close 11. Sticky cabinets and interiors
12. Stains on old porcelain fixtures that have lost their protective coating 12. Grime-coated bathtub and toilet
13. Moderately dirty mini-blinds 13. Missing mini-blinds
14. Bathroom mirror beginning to “de-silver” (black spots) 14. Mirrors caked with lipstick and makeup
15. Clothes dryer that delivers cold air because the thermostat has given out 15. Dryer that won’t turn at all because it’s been over-loaded
16. Toilet flushes inadequately because mineral deposits have clogged the jets 16. Toilet won’t flush properly because it’s stopped up with a diaper

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