Security deposit refund on bushes and delayed repairs.

6 Replies

Hi BPers,

We had a tenant moved out. The landscaping and bushes were not trimmed as we gave to them when they moved in. We found out that some wall drawings issues after the new tenant has moved in. do we charge them for painting even though we are not going to fix it now? Do i charge for clearing the bushes ?

Note: when i say charge, it means deducting the security deposit.

James and Shanti

Hello James,

Did their lease say that they were to maintain the bushes?  Did you let them know they weren't caring for the landscaping properly while they lived there? How much time/ what will you be charged to trim them back?  If it was me, I would probably just take care of the shrubs and move on.

 If you did not see the drawings until after the new tenant moved in it doesn't sound like it is anything to be charging the old tenant for.


If your lease didn't specify who was in charge of landscaping then no you should not charge.  Bushes grow.  

However, if you told them landscaping was their concern and they signed on the dotted line that they understood, then yes charge them.  It's all in how you worded your lease agreement.  

However, you have to justify normal wear and tear vs. damaged items.  Be careful.  Have your receipts for repairs charged and be prepared to prove your charges should they or their attorney question you.

If its normal wear and tear than it does not go against the renter, however if they purposely damage an item,  such as putting things down a toilet which was never intended for, they would be responsible.  When we rent these days we take a video of the place before the renter moves in (time stamp) to ensure the place was in working order along with a agreement that states what the renter and landlord are responsible for. 

If they were good long-term tenants, I would just trim the bushes myself.  I'd be more worried about a dead, dried up yard with weeds all over the place.  How long were they there? 5 months?  6 years?   Drawing on a wall isn't cool, but again, if they'd been there a long time and the room was due for a repaint anyway, I'd just get er done James and Shanti Kandasamy .  I do not build my business nit-picking good tenants on their way out I guess is what I'm saying.

How does a toilet repair cost $200?  Water damage to the floor and wall, etc?  Clogged trap?  Not saying I disbelieve you, but a nice new toilet doesn't even cost that. That's one I would bill for, if they caused the damage.  Sounds like they did.   Plumbers prices can be ridiculous.  Thanks for listening!