• FreeAdvice has a new Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, effective May 25, 2018.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our Terms of Service and use of cookies.

Security Deposit...

Accident - Bankruptcy - Criminal Law / DUI - Business - Consumer - Employment - Family - Immigration - Real Estate - Tax - Traffic - Wills   Please click a topic or scroll down for more.


Junior Member


I recently found out that my neighbor tried to kill herself by discharging a firearms in the unit next to me - I found this out through neighbors - I was never notified by the landlord that this happened. I immediately gave by notice to vacate as the woman was still living next to me. This was the 15th of October and he said I had to pay 15 days into November, regardless of the danger living beside me. I moved into a new home November 1st and did the Final Walkthrough with my old landlord around that time. My deposit is $2200 - he simply looked around and said, $1000 for painting (I had painted some walls and rooms a different color than the original) and then he said $1000 for the 15 days into November I had to pay because of the 30 day notice I had to give (nevermind he never notified me of a suicidal, gun-slinging woman that I share a wall with).

My question is this - I did some research and painting walls seems to not fall under proper security deposit deductions - he even said he had to repaint it anyway, when I volunteered to repaint it myself. Also - in the situation with giving him short notice that I'm moving due to safety issues - do I have to pay the 15 days into November? The unit wouldn't have been ready anyway for a new tenant as he decided to put in hardwood floors for a condo conversion...

Please advise. Thank You for your time.

Mrs. D

Do you know when the LL last painted? If it was several years ago, then you might be able to fight some of those charges, as the paint had lived a portion of it's useful life. If it was right before you moved in, though, you're probably on the hook for repainting. I think in CA, the LL's allowed to estimate charges, then send you the balance of your SD a little later than the estimate is due, deducting for actual charges. In the future, never do anything to an apartment (like painting) without written permission from the LL.

As for the danger, I'm not familiar with the rules regarding situations like that. The tenant should have been arrested for discharging a weapon and put into a psychiatric facility as a danger to herself and/or others. It sounds like that didn't happen, but I'm not sure the LL has any responsibility for that. People commit suicide every day in dangerous and not-so-dangerous ways, and even their closest friends and family don't see it coming. I don't see how the LL could be responsible to know that a person is going to attempt suicide. That said, the LL may have had a responsibility to evict the tenant, or may have been legally required not to because of her obvious mental disability. That's a situation that would likely require the expertise of a LL/Tenant lawyer.


Senior Member
Landlords are not obligated to tell other tenants that some one attempted to kill them self, Your local police dept would likely have had records of incidents in the area and you could have learned about it that way before you rented the unit. As far as the painting goes the LL does not have to accept someone elses color scheme for showing the unit, Thats why so many rentals walls are some kind of white. White is easy to repaint over and neutral enough that tenants can do other things to get color , like furniture fabrics & drapes ETC. Changing the color of the walls and leaving it that way when moving is considered damage. The darker the color you used the more steps to get it hidden with new paint.


Junior Member
Thank you for your responses. I lived in the the unit for over 3 years - so it is my understanding that the old paint had run it's portion and would have to be painted anyway - I went into the old unit to get my mail and the painters were repainting everything - ceilings included... So, I'm not convinced that the landlord can legally do a 5 minute walk-through and say, "$1000 for painting..."

Gail in Georgia

Senior Member
Landlords can do a one minute walk through and comment that the place has to be repainted, especially if the tenant took it upon themselves to paint without the landlords permission. Tenants need to remember that it's not their property; they are simply renting the space during the life of their lease.

This does not give them permission to paint or remodel the unit without approval for such from the landlord. The general rule is that the unit is returned in the same shape it was when initially rented and this can include the color of the walls.


Alaska landlord

Senior Member
I don't know about CA, but normally landlords are not required to prorate the rent. If you only gave a 15 day notice you may be on the hook for the whole month. Since you violated your lease by painting a different color, your landlord may have to not only paint, but also have to apply a primer before painting. How many coats will depend on the color you applied.

Is 1000.00 to much? possibly, but that would depend on the square footage of the rooms you painted and how much work it will take to negate your damage.


Junior Member
security deposit...

Thanks for all of your replies - California law states that the unit would have to be repainted after a certain time anyway - so my costs should be the primer and possible coats - also, I'm entitled to a full breakdown of where my money was spent after 21 days...

Find the Right Lawyer for Your Legal Issue!

Fast, Free, and Confidential