Does tenant’s liability for landlord’s furniture diminish with depreciation?

UPDATED: Oct 12, 2011

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: Oct 12, 2011Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Does tenant’s liability for landlord’s furniture diminish with depreciation?

I live long term in rent controlled and furnished apartment. Landlord will not take back furniture to make room for tenant’s, but will allow renter to store landlords furniture at tenant’s expense. If tenant were to dispose of furniture, would tenant’s liability be diminished at move-out by the depreciation furniture went through. For example, if tenant moves out after 5 year depreciation of furniture and furniture is not rendered to landlord, does tenant have a liability?

Asked on October 12, 2011 under Real Estate Law, California


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

In California, the law concerning damages for which a security deposit is placed is to pay for actual damages, not normal wear and tear of the property which typically is for paint, carpet, and fixtures.

One of the common attempts by a landlord at the end of a tenant's lease is for him or her to charge the former tenant for brand new carpet when the carpet was several years old when the lease was entered into. In many situations the landlord charges the tenant moving out for brand new carpet and never installs new carpet for the next tenant.

With respect to your question about the furniture coming with the rental and your obligation upon move out to pay for it, you should only pay for any actual damages not occassioned by normal wear and tear. For example, if someone came over and spilled purposefully ink all over a couch, you would be responsible for that damage taking into account the depreciated value of the couch at move out.

Good luck.

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