Can I be charged for a stain on the bottom of a carpet?

UPDATED: Dec 29, 2012

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Can I be charged for a stain on the bottom of a carpet?

I lived in an apartment for 4 months. I had to move out because I needed a bigger space. There were no visible stains on carpet surface. But they turned over the carpet and found a small stain under the carpet that may have been caused by a water spill. They deducted $300 from my security deposit to replace the carpet. Is that legal despite the carpet being clean and no visible stain on the top surface? Also, I patched the holes on the wall where I attached a TV and shelves. They charged $170 to repaint the wall of a 690 sq. ft. apartment. Isn’t this part of wear and tear? It doesn’t need repainting of the whole wall; a touch up can do the job.

Asked on December 29, 2012 under Real Estate Law, California


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Under the facts that you have written the painting is ordinary wear and tear that you should not be charged for. Likewise, the stain under the visible carpet should not be charged as well since the landlord cannot prove that you caused it.

I would write the former landlord requesting the return of the balance of your security deposit and if not returned small claims court is your option.

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