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What can be considered wear and tear?

  1. #1
    val23 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2003

    What can be considered wear and tear?

    We just moved out of our apartment in Bel-Air after a 2 year stay. Now the landlord wants to charge for everything:
    1. scratches on floors
    2. scratches on walls

    The landlord actually said that she is getting a professional cleaner to clean the place and will charge it to us. We left the place clean which means no papers big and small, no oil, etc... but she wants it spotlessly clean. She also wants to repaint the entire apartment and charge it to us as she said there are scratches on the walls and some paint chipped off. Shouldnt this be considered wear and tear? And since when were tenants responsible for paint chipping off? Lastly, she also wants to charge for scratches on the wooden floor.

    Can anybody give any legal opinions?

  2. #2
    mscheerful is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Hong Kong
    I can't give you the legal opinion help but we had bought two apartments here the last few years, we are now staying in one and the other one just sold out. We have been rented the sold off one to 3 families, 2 left with scratches on the walls, the floors and one time the couple left with us filty walls to clean. We do all the cleaning, painting and plastering without charging but of cause, it all depends on what is on the agreement signed. Always refer back to the agent that dealed with your tenancy agreement. However, if the scratches on the walls and floor are too severe, I think the owner does want to have some compensation from the tenant.

  3. #3
    salevizos is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Hong Kong
    Hi. I cant give you a legal opinion, but I am a landlord. Typically what I do is this:

    1. Scratches/markings on walls I usually consider wear & tear and pay myself to have the flat repainted. However, if holes were drilled into the walls for pictures etc, that is a slightly different matter.

    2. Cleaning. I usually set out with the tenant that I expect the flat to be cleaned by a helper after everything has been removed from the flat. If they are unable to do this themselves, I have my helper do it and charge them at a rate of $80/hr; that seems to be the going rate for cleaning helpers.

    3. Scratches on the floor (if its hardwood) is actually hard to fix, so while Ive never had to deal with this, Id expect your landlord would probably charge a bit for this. To fix this, it would require stripping the laquer off the floor, sanding down the floor a bit and re-staining.


  4. #4
    bekyboo44 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Discovery Bay, Hong Kong
    It all depends on the landlord!

    In my experience most landlords plan on repainting an apartment when a tenant leaves and so will not charge you for that.
    However any damage to the floor they will charge for....I know from experience...but don't let them get away with charging you for replacing the whole floor, if only part of it is damaged, they can simply replace the damaged part.
    I think you are also able to request that you get quotations from your own contractor, to be sure the landlord isn't ripping you off!

    As for the cleaning, why not get your helper or pay someone's helper to clean the apartment- that way you can control how much it costs.

  5. #5
    Sage is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Scrutinize your contract. How is wear and tear defined? Normal wear and tear is expected in all rentals. If it's a standard contract, I'd take the landlord to court. What she is doing is not normal.

  6. #6
    Neha is offline Banned
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Mid Levels, Hong Kong
    we have rented 2 aprtments so far .1st landlord was great she didnt cut anything we cleaned the aprtment , but wooden floors do get scratched especailly when u move as u cannot always carry things. But u can use the polish when u leave and it does cover up things.

    present landlord told us upfront no holes on the walls so we will just fill them when we leave.

    as mentioned above check your contract and also talk to your agent who helped u with the lease. Painting should not be cut from your deposit

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