What is the legal definition of “defacing”?

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What is the legal definition of “defacing”?

We repainted the walls of a rental home and now the landlord is describing this as defacement.

Asked on July 12, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Oklahoma

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

"Defacing" an article in a generic legal definition is when a person alters an article's pre-existing condition (which belong's to a third person such as your landord) to essentially "mutiliate" the article to the point where the article's changed condition has no value from an objective standard of the public.

In your situation, if you simply re-painted the walls of the home you are renting from the landlord but did not damage the walls by putting holes in them would most likely not be considered in general "defacing".

If you damaged the walls or perhaps put obscene words on the landord's wall rather than a flat cover of paint, then there could be an argument for "defacing" the wall.

 


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