Tenant vacates leaving dirty walls.

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How much of the security deposit should I retain for having to paint a few walls? I had a tenant move out after 13 months. They moved in with newly painted walls, left the dirt. Would this be considered normal wear and tear, or can I charge them some sort of pro-rated cost for damages?


pay someone to clean them and bill back cleaning fees. if they cannot be cleaned, pay to have wall repainted and bill back a pro-rated amount.

@Jason Allen   If this is in your state (California), this is what's suggested by the California Department of Consumer Affairs in their landlord-tenant handbook:

Hi Jason! 

According to SC Code Section 27-40-510, the tenant must "keep the dwelling unit and that part of the premises that he uses reasonably safe and reasonably clean." So, I personally would think this would cover the dirt damaged walls. Always document (in writing and through photos) the damages and the costs to fix the damages. SC Code Section 27-40-410 states "any deduction from the security/rental deposit must be itemized by the landlord in a written notice to the tenant together with the amount due, if any, within thirty days after termination of the tenancy and delivery of possession and demand by the tenant, whichever is later." Make sure you keep your receipts from the painters and you should be protected. 

DISCLOSURE: I am not a lawyer and this is not legal advice.