Are tenants responsible for tears to wallpaper that is already pealing and old?

UPDATED: Feb 21, 2012

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Feb 21, 2012Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Are tenants responsible for tears to wallpaper that is already pealing and old?

The wallpaper in the townhome is torn in to different spots in foyer. The tears are about the size of a quarter. According to the landlord the wallpaper was put up 15 years ago. The wallpaper is lifting at the seams, bubbling up at some spots and in come areas it has came away from the wall. The landlord stated she has had to put glue on the wallpaper in the past because it was coming up. The landlord wants to pay to have the wallpaper taken down and wall painted white. She has stated that she will take this out of my deposit. I singed a standard lease.

Asked on February 21, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Virginia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You are not responsible for ordinary wear and tear--even if the wear and tear over many years culminates in the wallpaper coming loose during your tenancy. You are only responsible for damage beyond normal wear and tear which you, your family, pets, or guests did. So if children drew on wallpaper, a contractor you hired ripped it while installing a home theatre system, or a pet tore or scratched it, you could be responsible; you are not responsible, and do not have to pay, simply because age has caught up with it. If the landlord improperly takes the cost out of your security deposit, you can sue him to recover your money.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption