What is my responsibility to pay for painting for the next tenant?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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What is my responsibility to pay for painting for the next tenant?

I signed a 2 year commercial office lease. We experienced difficulties in our business and often needed to pay rent late with fees but we always paid. About 5 months ago, the landlord was actively seeking to rent the property out before the end of our lease which was fine with us as we had decided by then that we wanted to move to a smaller space. In light of this, I asked my landlord about the possibility of ending the lease early, to which I was told via text message that this is fine as long as they could find another tenant but that I’d be responsible for rent during this period. Perfectly fine and fair I thought. Fast forward to last month and they’ve begun to line up potential tenants. I was in contact with the broker for the unit and asked him a question about the security deposit. Not only did he avoid the question but he apparently passed it on to the landlord, who asked me to call him. I’ve never met the landlord and only corresponded with him through text. I called him and he informed me that I wouldn’t receive my security deposit because of fees that had to be paid to the broker for finding a new tenant, not due to a clause in the lease. However, it goes further. My landlord also mentioned costs of having to repaint and clean the floors and that I might need to pay a few hundred for new paint. Now mind you, when I was going through the process of renting the unit. I was told explicitly that the unit was

Asked on February 21, 2019 under Real Estate Law, Nevada


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

You can only be charged for repainting, cleaing, or other maintenance required by things you did which exceeded normal wear and tear, such as if you repainted the walls (the landlord may paint them back to the original color) or if you scratched up the walls or floor moving furniture, etc. (they can, as necessary, repaint and refinish), etc. The landlord may not charge you for any painting, cleaning, or damage--whether to take it out of your deposit or sue you for the money (and suing you is the only way to get any amounts in excess of the deposit, if you refuse to voluntarily pay them)--except for, as stated, damage, etc. you caused in excess of normal wear and tear. If the landlord were to try to sue you for anything, to recover the money from you, the landlord would have to prove you caused damage exceeding normal wear and tear.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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