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Landlord - tenant pay for damage during lease or upon departure?

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Lisa Chew

My name is Lisa Chew and I rent out a studio condo in Chicago, IL. I rent out a studio that was recently renovated to condo status before tenant moved in - the place was in mint condition/brand new. My tentant recently informed me he needed the carpet cleaned after two years of residing there. Upon inspection, I noticed that two tiles in bathroom are cracked, the tub (2 years old)has a large section of coating peeled off, and the carpet is filthy. The bathroom is filthy. He has 8 months left in his lease - do I repair these things now and bill him now or take the repairs out of his security deposit? Does he pay for carpet cleaning or is that normal wear and tear? I want to be fair but want to warn him that he is not taking care of my property.



Waste to property by tenant

The tenant is liable for damages to the property beyond normal wear and tear. Allthough the landlord usually subtracts any such damage from the security deposit upon the tenant's leaving, the tenant actually owes the money to the landord as soon as the damage is done, so you could bill the tenant now. However, it may be better to wait or you will stir up hostility and have more damage done. It also does not seem like good business to make repairs for THIS tenant.
As for the carpet. A normal amount of dirt building up is normal wear and tear. Anything beyond that is damage to the property, so if you cost of restoring the carpet is more than a normal cleaning would cost, the tenant would be liable for that. However, again, it would probably be a waste to clean it now for THIS tenant.
It would probably be best for you not to renew the lease at the end of the 8 months and to withhold damages from the deposit.



Senior Member

Why would you repair items when tenant has another 8 months to destroy again? Tenant pays for carpet cleaning and consider having wording in your lease that tenant is to carpets professionally cleaned 1X every 12 months and send you copy of paid receipt.

Other items should be handled when tenant is out.

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