I tried posting this in the landlord forum, but ended up getting replies from people in other parts of the country who don't know the rules specific to California.
I normally have a good handle on who is going to leave damage behind. This is the first time that I've had someone who I think might produce significant damage. Thus, I'm going through the pre-moveout inspection process in a very thorough way.
I've been wondering about the inherent conflict between the clause in the lease which states that they cannot perform their own repairs (for fear of low-quality work, especially shoddy work that might not be immediately visible) and the law surrounding pre move-out inspections.
If I identify items that should be fixed, are they prevented from fixing these things themselves because of the lease or are the lease terms overridden by the law?
@electricangel, As a landlord, you still have a say as to the manner in which those repairs should be done - such as hiring a licensed contractor to clean carpets, patch a hole, etc. However, I would leave very little up to tenant other than general cleaning and filling in nail holes. Most tenants dont have the skills or means to do certain repairs and you may end up correcting their mistakes. Use the security deposit and if the funds dont cover it all get the rest from attaching wages via small claims court. Remember to include copy of receipts and photos of damaged areas for all items charged against their deposit.