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Posts: 11
Reply with quote  #1 
My renter is moving out and wants to know if she should patch all the nail holes and paint over them instead of having the cost deducted from the security deposit. She has been there for 10 months (moving out early due to deployment). I have extra paint so she could certainly do it herself, but I'm wondering if I should just let her do the spackling and paint over it myself. Thoughts?

Two other general questions I have:

1. Should tenants pay for filling nail holes and touch up paint?

2. Should all holes be filled before renting to a new tenant?


Posts: 764
Reply with quote  #2 
My last tenant left 90 nail holes and I charged her to fill, sand and paint every one.

If you want to let her do it thats up to you I guess but a tenant never really does things as well as you would I have found out.

Posts: 563
Reply with quote  #3 
I tell my tenants that the nail holes should not be excessive and no larger than a toothpick inserted.  I also ask them to use the removable hangers whenever possible.  They also are to get my approval if they put up shelving units or anything that requires screws.

Personally, I would not charge for normal sized nail holes, only those that are large (like screw holes) and those which cause torn drywall or chipped plaster or if excessive, like the 90 holes Rk spoke of.

You should patch and paint yourself if necessary because if she does a half-*ss job, you'll have to repair it anyway.  The nail holes that are small and not noticeable from a distance, I don't repair them for the next tenant. 


Posts: 383
Reply with quote  #4 
For normal nail holes, caused by hanging pictures, etc, I do not charge for that.  I guess I assume that anyone moving in is going to hang some pictures and it's expected that there will be some nail holes when they leave.  I don't ask them to fill them themselves because like Sam said, they can make a mess of the walls if they don't know what they are doing.

There is some stuff at Home Depot...gah, I'll have to check and see what it's called, but it just squeezes out of a tube and fills nail holes perfectly.  Squeeze and run the smoother over it, done.   A lot of times, if I'm going to paint the room anyway, a dab of paint fills in the nail holes if they are small.

Agreed that if they leave big holes in the wall or damage the wall in any way, that does come out of the security deposit.  I also state in my leases that they cannot affix anything 'permanent' to the walls - shelving, etc - w/out my written permission, so if they go ahead and do this and either leave the shelf there or remove it and leave big holes, I charge them for removing and repairing.

Posts: 3,753
Reply with quote  #5 
I'm in consensus with the others.  Small nail holes in a reasonable amount are normal wear & tear and should not be charged against the deposit.  You should expect tenants to hang some pictures on the wall.  But the holes cannot be large in nature (finishing nail sized holes only, and must be reasonable in number (a couple per wall is reasonable).  Anything larger in size or quantity should be damages and be deducted from the deposit.  Only allow the tenant to fill holes with specific instruction, or you may end up with big globs of spackling on each hole.  Only allow a tenant to touch up paint if they know how to feather the paint out into the existing paint (otherwise you with have "postage stamps" - square spots of  new paint obvious on each wall.)

I fill all small nail holes but often leave a couple of large anchors and screws on the LR wall for large pictures over the sofa.  The metal anchors and screws have been there a long time and I just remove the screws long enough to paint, then replace them.  This makes it easy on tenants who want to hang large pictures in the LR.


Posts: 1
Reply with quote  #6 

I have a similar situation.  Tenant just left and my husband took time off from work. Drove to Charleston from NJ and found about 40+ holes in the walls.  It's a two story townhouse so there is lots of wall space.  We've been in the house when she lived there and there was crap everywhere on the walls.
We get that.  Yes, you paint fresh for each tenant but to fill and spackle every hole that was left.  I guess they were big enuf that he had to sand it down.  he made a pile of the nails and hooks that were left in the walls. 

We were wondering how much to deduct from her security deposit.  He spent the entire day fixing this.  Also, they left holes in the closet where racks were adjusted.

One small note:  She was the previous owner and we bought the house from her.  We allowed her to stay on as a tenant, she could no longer afford mortgage payments so she lived there at about a difference of 600 less a month.  Not that it matters but.........................  we did her a huge favor.

I have sold 4 homes and never left a nail hole for someone to fix and i rented once very short term and never touched the walls.

Also, we rented a carpet shampooer (she said she would take care of cleaning carpet but never did).  WOW, my husband said he never saw such filthy water. 

In total of 900 security deposit, how much should we withhold for one day of spackle labor and renting equipment to clean and cleaners.

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