Question about renters and security deposits
I know this forum is for SELLING houses. Unfortunately there is not a RENTING forum, so I apologize if this is considered to be incorrectly posting.
I have been renting out my house (that didnt sell) for the past 2 yrs. The tenant was pretty decent, took decent care of the house, but there are a couple problems. I am trying to figure out a what would be considered fair, as far as keeping some of the security deposit. I also don't want a scenario where I really make the tenant mad and I get my house vandalized later on.
1. They left windows open and a door open - causing a vaccuum, which slammed the door shut so hard that the lower portion of the door frame seperated from the wall by about 2 inches, also causing some drywall damage.
2. The stainless steel kitchen appliances were all brand-new when they moved in. The oven - looks like food spilled on the interior oven "floor", and they must have taken a metal putty knife to scrape it off - all the paint has been removed, exposing bare metal. This space is about the size of a basket ball. I don't know that you CAN repair this, and it is going to get all rusty and nasty looking.
2A. The dishwasher had a stainless mirror finish interior. We have a lot of problem with lime and calcium build up, as we are on well water. We do not have a water softener. The interior of the dishwasher is now completely gunked up with build-up. What used to look like a highly polished chrome mirror is now all white and rough. Nasty looking. I know I can't blame them for the fact that this stuff does build up - but they DO make products that you can clean it with (that they never used) so the build up doesn't get out of hand.
2B. The over the stove microwave also had a stainless mirror finish interior - which is now full of scratches. I know you can expect a few scratches from simple wear and tear from a family of 5, using it for 2 years - but how much is too much?
3. There are two bedrooms that had nice curtain rods and nice curtains on them (6 windows total - 2 single windows, 2 double windows). They are totally gone. Replaced by flimsy aluminum el-cheapo curtain rods with blankets (yes blankets) replacing the curtains. The curtains that were there were decent, stylish, totally acceptable, and now they are just gone.
4. All faucets and sinks have an incredible ammount of lime/calcium build up. Again, you can't blame them for the water quality - but this is after 2 years. We lived there 7 years and everything still looked brand new. It got this way all because they never attempted to clean them. Now the build up is so bad, I don't know if you CAN clean them. It may be more cost-effective to REPLACE the faucets than to spend countless hours trying to remove all the build-up. I know it sounds like I am exaggerating, but I am not - it is REALLY bad.
5. Now this is the more rediculous one - when they moved in, every single light bulb functioned. Last time I looked at the house, at least 12 bulbs were burned out. Like they had no intention of ever replacing anything, they were going to leave that for me. Well 12 bulbs adds up - you have the actual cost of the bulb, and my time and gas going to the store, and physically replacing them. I have been a renter before, and never did I expect the landlord to have to replace all my bulbs for me. I couldn't believe it when I saw this.
6. Contract says house is to be clean and broom swept upon vacating. I expect to get house back in same condition as it was when they first moved in - which was totally spotless. How much security deposit is fair to keep if you have to vaccuum and steam clean all carpet, clean all appliances inside and out and clean all faucets/sinks/showers? They have not officially moved out yet, but I do expect I will have a lot of cleaning to do.
So, I guess first of all, how much of this damage can be looked at as simple wear and tear, and therefore I should just ignore it? And how much of it is their negligence and how much would I fairly be entitled to keep? Granted, they haven't tore huge holes in the walls, ripped up carpet, nothing major - but you add all this stuff up, and you can easily see I still have some expenses here that they have clearly caused, due to their negligence/laziness. I just don't know how I can tell them I expect to be reimbursed for a $65 faucet (plus labor) - when they probably think all I need to do is squirt some Windex on it and invest 5 minutes and its good as new. I expect to get back some damages, but I just don't want to go overboard and end up looking like an unrealistic jerk. I really don't want to set myself up as a target for my house to get vandalized later on.
Any comments/suggestions welcome. Thank you in advance.