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damages left at move out

Hi, I'm still pretty new at this and have come up to a new situation. My tenant has movved out and i have found damage done to the carpeting in the master bedroom and cigarette burns to the living room carpet. I'm not going to replace the carpets at this time but this will cause me to change the carpet sooner then expected. Also he had broken a closet door-it had to be specially made just prior to his move in- because of this i don't want to replace it right now either. I spackled away and primed and painted it, but the fact of the matter is, that that too will have to be replaced sooner then expected. He has admitted that these were done by him. I'm trying to figure out his security deposit return and really need assistance with this. Your help will be greatly appreciated!  Thanks, Shirley

You can try to charge him reasonable fees for the costs of the carpet burn and the closet door. However, if he fights it, most courts want proof that you have, or reasonably will, repair those problems shortly. Telling the judge that you will have to replace the carpet (or the door) one year sooner or sometime in the future will generally not cut it.
Sorry to hear of your troubles, I too have had such issues.  The best thing to do is to get estimates for the repair of the door(s), estimates to replace the carpet or have a repair man come out and give an esitmate for repairing the carpet.  If you have any of the original carpet, it may be salvagable.  You have to estimate the damage only, not the replacement of the whole carpet unless it made it unusable.  As far as the cleaning and painting, they should have left it clean, ready for the next tenant.  You may charge if you had to clean.  The painting is a time issue, less than 1 year and you should not have to repaint.  Over 1 year, you cannot charge them as it is considered normal wear and tear.  Hope this helps.  
I just had a tenant move out, and  I have a similar situation here.  I gave them a brand new apartment, and they just moved out 11 months later.  They had stuff hanging all over which left many holes in my walls.  They also hung up a chin up bar which damaged moldings around one of my doorways.  I made sure before I rented, I completed a move in - move out condition report, and had them sign it, which stated that the apartment was in brand new condition.  The apartment now has to be repainted from all the holes and the molding has to be repaired.  I had my contractor look at the apartment after they moved out.  The cost is $900 which has to come off there security.  I agree with what Cheryl from CA posted, if a tenant is there for less then a year then there should be no reason to paint, or do any such repairs.   I'm in an apartment from 3 years and my paint looks brand new.  Just make sure you have a written estimate to present to your former tenant   
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