Landlording & Rental Properties

The Landlord’s Itemized List of Common Security Deposit Deductions

Expertise: Landlording & Rental Properties, Personal Development, Real Estate News & Commentary, Business Management, Flipping Houses, Mortgages & Creative Financing, Real Estate Deal Analysis & Advice, Real Estate Wholesaling, Personal Finance, Real Estate Marketing, AskBP, Real Estate Investing Basics
573 Articles Written
Terrible mess after party. Trash, bottles, food, cups and clothes on floor.

Nothing more motivates a tenant to replace dead light bulbs than knowing that if they don't, their landlord can hire someone else to handle the task—at $5 a bulb, taken out of their deposit. Encourage them to think ahead (and stop any surprises) by providing them with a security deposit deductions list in advance.

Want more articles like this?

Create an account today to get BiggerPocket's best blog articles delivered to your inbox

Sign up for free

Doing so motivates your tenant to do as much themselves as possible. Let’s face it: Moving isn’t fun. It’s hard work, and by the time the tenant moves into their new place, the last thing they want to do is deep clean the home they lived in for years.

But the responsible ones buck up and do it anyway. Focus your attention on the others, who aren’t so inclined.

In reality, some items may cost more and some may cost less. The point is showing the tenant what inaction will cost them. Probably a lot more than they think.

Related: Follow This Moving Out Checklist Before Tenants Leave

The Landlord’s Itemized Security Deposit Deductions List

While you can copy this list wholesale, we recommend paying attention to your own local market. If you know for a fact that your hardwood guy charges $1,000 per room, make that known to your tenant. The more accurate you can be now, the fewer surprised tenants you’ll deal with later.

promotion for how to become a landlord guide

Purchasing your first rental property is just the beginning of your real estate journey, because being a good landlord is almost as important as making good deals. BiggerPockets’ free guide How to Become a Landlord: Managing Rental Properties for Real Estate Investors will teach you everything—from setting rent to handling evictions.

General cleaning and repairs

  • Sweep, vacuum, and mop: $50
  • Dust and wash trim: $25
  • Wipe down walls: $25
  • General labor (cleaning, painting, normal repairs, trash removal, etc.): $25–$40/hour
  • Specialty labor (electric, drywall repair, plumbing, etc.): $70–$100/hour

Damages, repairs, and disposal

  • Repair drywall
    • 6′ by 6′ room: $75
    • 12′ by 12′ room: $150
  • Wash light fixture (each): $15
  • Replace interior door: $100
  • Replace exterior door: $250
  • Clean ceiling fan: $25
  • Change light bulb (each): $5
  • Replace smoke detector batteries: $25
  • Replace carbon monoxide detector batteries: $25
  • Replace smoke detector: $75
  • Replace carbon monoxide detector: $75
  • Replace window blinds: $40
  • Replace sliding door blinds: $60
  • Carpet cleaning (normal): $150
  • Carpet cleaning (deep clean): $200
  • Carpet spot cleaning (each): $15
  • Replace carpet (12′ by 12′ room): $500
  • Replace wood, vinyl, laminate, etc. flooring (12′ by 12′ room): $500
  • Repaint one room: $300
  • Repair kitchen cabinet: $150
  • Repair kitchen drawer: $150
  • Wash window (including tracks, inside): $20
  • Fill nail holes: $25
  • Replace interior door knob: $25
  • Replace exterior door lock: $50
  • Pest or rodent extermination: $150

Related: 12 Must-Ask Landlord Reference Check Questions

Exterior

  • Trash removal (per load): $100
  • Mow lawn: $35–$75
  • Weed flower beds: $35–$100

Cleaning: Kitchen

  • Clean kitchen (normal): $150
  • Clean kitchen (deep): $300
  • Oven and stove: $75
  • Refrigerator: $75
  • Dishwasher: $75
  • Microwave: $25
  • Cabinets: $200
  • Countertops: $25
  • Sweep and mop floors: $25
  • Dust and wash trim: $15
  • Wipe down walls: $25
  • Drip pan replacement: $35

Cleaning: Living and dining room, office, and recreation room

  • Cleaning (normal): $100
  • Cleaning (deep): $200
  • Sweep, vacuum, and mop: $50
  • Dust and wash trim: $25
  • Wipe down walls: $25

Cleaning: Bathrooms

  • Cleaning (normal): $100
  • Cleaning (deep): $200
  • Bathtub or shower: $50
  • Sink: $25
  • Cabinet: $25
  • Toilet: $25
  • Sweep and mop floors: $25
  • Dust and wash trim: $25
  • Wipe down walls: $25
  • Wipe down fixtures: $15

Related: What Landlords Should Know Before Evicting a Tenant

Cleaning: Bedrooms

  • Cleaning (normal): $100
  • Cleaning (deep): $200

Of course, make sure you add a caveat: “This list has been prepared for your information only. Actual charges will vary.”

Landlords: Does your deposit deduction list look similar? Anything you’d add or change?

Be sure to leave a comment below!

Brandon Turner is an active real estate investor, entrepreneur, writer, and co-host of the BiggerPockets Podcast. He is a nationally recognized leader in the real estate education space and has tau...
Read more
    Fred K. Investor from Richmond, Virginia
    Replied about 3 years ago
    Great list. Always remember this is a business and if you don’t charge and collect these fees, it comes out of your pocket. We have a similar list as an addendum to the lease. Our costs are mostly higher. we make it clear that the property is to be returned in the same condition as they received it. As for the blinds, we charge $25 per blind ever if a tassel is missing and tenants are responsible for any damage to storm doors. You are free to use the following. DAMAGE ADDENDUM (This is a legally binding contract; if not understood, seek competent advice before signing.) This Addendum to the Lease Agreement by and between _________________________________________, Landlord, and ____________________________________________________________________________________, Tenant(s) and __________________________ Manager for Landlord, Lease dated __________________________ for property described as _____________________________________________________________________________ The Lease Agreement, as written, is all inclusive and binding to the Landlord and the Tenant, with the exception of the following amendments and/or revisions: This addendum supersedes any move out charges cost figures in the Handbook addendum. This list is provided at move-in and move-out so you are aware of the average cost of property damages, and so you can avoid these expenses being deducted from your deposit. Repair prices may vary according to the amount and type of damage. This is a non-inclusive list. Except for normal wear and tear, the following specific deductions or damages shall be charged against Tenant for any damages to the Dwelling Unit or the Premises: Excessive or abnormal repairs of holes caused by nails or hanging lamps: $ 35.00. Comments: Charges billed at $35/half hour labor (minimum charge $35) and materials at cost plus premium to cover overhead depending on the item. CLEANING (if not done by you before you move-out) MISSING or non-working ITEM ESTIMATES Refrigerator $75.00 Stove top or inside oven $75.00 Kitchen cabinets or counter top $65.00 Bathtub/shower $55.00 Toilet $50.00 Vacuum entire unit $150.00 Replace furnace filter $20.00 Replace refrigerator filter $75.00 Extensive cleaning $85.00/hour Carpet Cleaning $250.00-$400.00 Replace light bulb each $15.00 Light fixture globe $30.00 Light fixture $50.00-$100.00 Electrical outlet/switch $15.00 Electrical cover plate $15.00 Replace key $15.00 Replace refrigerator shelf $85.00 Replace oven knob $35.00 Replace window screen $50.00 DAMAGE ESTIMATES Large nail hole repair $35.00 Remove crayon marks $25.00 per wall Replace interior/exterior door $270.00 + Cost of door Replace sliding glass door $650.00 + Cost of door Replace faucets $150.00-$250.00 Replace bathroom mirror or medicine cabinet $95.00-$250.00 Replace shower head $45.00 Replace toilet $300.00 Replace garbage disposal $200.00 Replace counter top $100.00 + labor & materials Repair window pane $125.00 Replace mini-blinds $25.00 each Replace major appliances $50.00 + Cost + labor & materials ADDITIONAL CHARGES ESTIMATES Replace curtain rod or towel bar $100.00 Replace smoke detector $50.00 Replace smoke detector battery $10.00 Replace Carbon Monoxide Detectors $65.00 Replace Carbon Monoxide Detectors battery $10.00 Remove junk and debris $85.00 /hour Fumigate for fleas $150.00 Replace fire extinguisher $70.00 Replace thermostat $35.00 +Cost + labor & materials Remove wallpaper $200.00 + labor Fence replacement or repair $40.00 per foot Clear drain stoppage $25.00 + labor Repainting of parts of the Dwelling Unit or Premises: Dining Room: $ 300.00 Kitchen: $ 400.00 Living Room: $ 450.00 Bath: $ 350.00 Bedroom, Each: $ 450.00 Halls: $ 300.00 Repainting of entire Dwelling Unit or Premises: 1-Bedroom Unit: $ 1,000 4-Bedroom Unit: $ 3,000 2-Bedroom Unit: $ 1,500 5-Bedroom Unit: $ 4,000 3-Bedroom Unit: $ 2,500 In the event that wall paper must be removed, Tenant will be charged for the cost of repairing and repainting the wall, including the drywall, if necessary, on a time and materials basis. In the event that the drywall is damaged through removal of tape applied by Tenant, Tenant will be charged for painting the area or room as deemed necessary by Landlord. Damaged carpeting or other flooring: Burn holes: $ 55.00 The cost will be $5.50 per sqft for carpet replacement. The cost will be $4.50 per sqft to refinish hardwood floors. The cost will be $8.00 per sqft for laminate floor replacement. The cost will be $6.00 per sqft for vinyl floor replacement. The cost will be $1.50 per sqft for quarter round replacement. Any major repairs will be charged at $85.00 per hour plus cost of materials. Tenant hereby agrees to surrender possession of the Dwelling Unit to the Landlord in as good condition as the commencement date of the Lease Agreement, less reasonable wear and tear, and reimburse Landlord for any repairs or maintenance that may be necessary in accordance with the schedule set out in this Damage Addendum, or at the actual costs of the materials and repairs, if the actual costs are greater than the amounts set out herein. Resident agrees that subject to the conditions above. Any security deposit money left after all unpaid rent, utilities and repairs have been paid, will be refunded within 45 days after vacating premises or after all repairs have been completed. IN WITNESS WHEREOF, Landlord and Tenant have executed this Damage Addendum on the dates reflected below: TENANT(s): __________________________________________Date: _____________ TENANT(s): __________________________________________Date: _____________ Landlord: ____________________________________________Date: _____________ Landlord: ____________________________________________Date: _____________ Manager: ____________________________________________Date: _____________
    Adam D. Investor from Castle Rock, Colorado
    Replied almost 3 years ago
    Wow! that’s very detailed. Thanks Fred K.
    Sean Singh Real Estate Investor from Northville, Michigan
    Replied about 1 year ago
    I believe you should add garage doors and garage openers in the list
    Roger Johnson from Maplewood, NJ
    Replied almost 3 years ago
    Great list thanks! I will use and add broken windows to the list!
    Anthony Wilks
    Replied over 2 years ago
    Holy. This list seems more like a scare tactic. Yes, I like the list. But, the prices might be very hard to justify should your tenant take you to court.
    Suzanne Lord Rental Property Investor from Worcester, PA
    Replied about 2 years ago
    This comment is a little late to the game. Thank you for the detailed Damage List It is great to see different approaches. I just updated my Moving Charges and Repair Cost Sheet last night in preparation of spring leases rolling in. (Which is how I landed on this post.) Prices vary greatly regionally. My Damage cost list is higher (average range $20-$50 higher) and has held up well with tenants and in court. There is an increasing labor shortage in my area (and nation wide) and my maintenance costs reflect a jump in trade prices. When I started thirty years ago I know now that I greatly undervalued my time and administrative costs. Also there was no internet community to support newbies or do research…I didn’t even have a cell phone! How did any of us manage to start and run a business?! Thank Goodness for BIGGER POCKETS! There is always something new to learn in this business.
    Henry Kashkevych
    Replied over 1 year ago
    Fred K. “You da Man!” Great damage addendum for lease.
    Bernie Neyer Investor from Chanute, Kansas
    Replied about 1 year ago
    Mr. Turner, Thanks for the article, but two things, $5 for a light bulb? Really? Obviously you haven’t purchased a bulb lately. LOL, LEDs cost more than that, but I get where you’re coming from. I used to give the tenant a list of charges, but found it had negative results. Tenants would just go, “The heck with this, he’ll never return our deposit any way with these charges.” Instead what I send them is a check list of what to do and where needed instructions on how to do it. I’ve found people who didn’t know how to really clean stuff. In my instructions, I’d tell them to clean the walls and invite them to do just one room where they’d discover how much dirt was really on their walls. I’d let them know, if done right, from ceiling to floor, it shouldn’t take more than a hour to clean a room. Now, it may have taken them longer, but they didn’t know that till they’d finished. I’d finish the letter by telling them that we truly wanted to return their deposit, because the cost of cleaning their rental could run far more than their deposit. Generally, they get the drift. Here in Kansas, we have 30 days to return their deposit, so in my letter, I tell them to lock up when they leave, leaving the keys on the kitchen counter along with their new address where the want their deposit sent. I often find their address along with the check list sent them, and they dutifully checked each task as they completed it.
    Curt Smith Rental Property Investor from Clarkston, GA
    Replied 11 months ago
    Adding my practice to this zig zagging thread,, learned from a national landlording teacher David Tilney, well worth the 3 day training. I agree with Brandon's security deposit charges and having those initialed during move in and emailed to the tenants when they give notice. David Tilney teaches "zero day" which has as a goal the next tenants move in the DAY AFTER the current tenants move out. So how does a landlord orchestrate such a miracle? Lets also debunk (completely) the ridiculous notion that theres customary and usual wear and tear. If you loan your car to a friend you expect to get it back without dings and worn out carpets right? Think of your rental businss as one that is lending your rental for a period of time, its reasonable to want the unit back in the same condition. At move in you read the lease section that says; when you give notice you are to fix and clean the unit up such that it is in the same condition as when you moved in and you will agree to show the property to the next tenants that the landlord will send schedule with you. I never show properties!!!! The current tenant chats with the prospects and are great in person screeners for me. I text the tenant after a showing and I they tell me what they thought of each tenant. Of course I get my own views through my interaction and screening as well. This works when you treat tenants well, are a great landlord, then they are ok with helping you out when they need to move on. My leases are month to month with a give 60 days notice any time you need to move; just fix the place up and show to the next tenant. My tenants are thankful for such flexibility. If your curious my rentals are nicer, fixed up, and my average tenancy is 5 yrs +/-. Month to month does not shorten how long then stay BTW. I have orchestrated near zero day turn overs. A few weeks at most. Nearly zero turn over costs short of paying my contractor cleaning and minor fixing tasks that I never go to supervise because I remote self manage. Landlords,,, please stop allowing tenants to be rough on your properties. Set expectations at move in (like a parent) you need to set expectations of how clean and careful they need to treat your rental. The repair sheet and prices is a help to nudge in that direction. Like any goal, if you don't set your goals high, like shooting for zero days turn over, near zero turn over costs, you will never get there, and in some of your cases not even be in the same universe with multi-$1k's turn over costs and lost months. Please don't accept lost months and high costs as the only way to run a rental business!!! Set your goals higher and it starts with a security deposit repair sheet like this AND a lease that says you must return the unit in same condition AND you must agree to show the unit to the next tenants... Set as your goal the zero day business model. You'll be amazed when you make this happen for the first time. Please look up taking David Tilneys landlording training as well.
    Curt Smith Rental Property Investor from Clarkston, GA
    Replied 11 months ago
    @Brandon Hay Brandon whats with BP's website squeezing out the new lines separating paragraphs. I posted via a browser not the mobile app.