Can the Landlord Deduct Painting Fees From My Rental Security Deposit?

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Certain landlords will deduct painting fees from your rental security deposit. Learn whether the landlord can deduct these painting fees with help from a licensed attorney and licensed California real estate broker in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Renting FAQs
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Nic McGrue. I'm an attorney at Polymath Legal, located in Los Angeles, California. Today, I'm going to discuss whether a landlord can deduct painting fees from your security deposit. It really kind of depends on your unique situation whether a landlord can do this. If the walls have been damaged in your unit, the landlord most likely can deduct money from your security deposit to pay for painting fees. Now, if the walls in your unit are not damaged, it gets a bit trickier. The useful life rule shows that different amenities or fixtures in a rental unit have various lengths in which they will last, or, various useful lives. Now, if you've lived in your unit for the whole useful life of the paint, then your landlord likely cannot deduct security deposit monies in order to pay for painting fees. However, if you have not lived in your unit for the whole useful life, your landlord may be able to deduct a portion of the painting fees to cover the portion of the useful life that you did live there. Once again, my name is Nic McGrue, and I hope this helped answer your question as to whether a landlord can deduct painting fees from your security deposit.

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