Can a landlord deduct from a security deposit after the lease is over for the days it took for him to repair the damages?

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Can a landlord deduct from a security deposit after the lease is over for the days it took for him to repair the damages?

My lease has ended and the house is not in great shape. The landlord emailed me with the bill and basically took all of the deposit and on top of that, charged an extra 700 dollars (1/4 of my monthly rent) for the one week it took for him repair everything in the house. Is this extra 700 dollars a legitimate charge? If he supposedly had someone trying to move in immediately after my lease was over, would that change things?

Asked on July 31, 2012 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Landlords may NOT charge for their own time or labor. If there is repair necessitated by damage done by the tenant (or tenant's family, guest, pets, etc.), the landlord can charge the cost of outside labor--i.e. the bill from a carpenter or contractor--the cost of materials, and other direct, out of pocket costs (such as the cost of a dumpster, if renting one was required). However he cannot charge for this own work.


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