If a tenant kept a dog without my consent and the carpet had to be replaced which cost me a few days rent from a new tenant, what are my rights?

UPDATED: Nov 10, 2011

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If a tenant kept a dog without my consent and the carpet had to be replaced which cost me a few days rent from a new tenant, what are my rights?

I’m a private landlord. My tenant moved out and I found out they had dog. Carpet stained so bad not normal wear after 18 months. New tenant wouldn’t move in and wanted a refund on days they couldn’t move in. What can I take out of previous tenant’s deposit for this breach?

Asked on November 10, 2011 under Real Estate Law, California


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Good question. The amount that you can hold back from your former teannt's security deposit for the carpet damage you write about is determined by the written lease agreement (assuming you have one).

Its terms control the obligations owed to you by the former tenant and vice versa in the absence of conflicting state law. Read your agreement carefully on the subject to damages and the use of the security deposit.

Most likely the only amount that you can legally withhold from the former tenant's security deposit is the amount to cover the replacement of the damaged carpet. The delay on the tenant's move in (new tenant) can be pushed on the back end of the lease so you essentially have not lost any money in the big picture.

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