Reasonable deductions from deposit for marks on walls and not maintained garden

Hello everyone,
My tenants are moving out after 2 years of renting my house which was a show house prior to them moving in so it was high spec interior design and a landscaped garden. They have wallpapered two walls in each of the bedroom without permission and they are on notice to pay for the redecoration to which they agreed. However, upon todays unspection I found lots of grease and finger marks on walls and I am not sure if they can come off easily and it may be necessary to repaint them which can be costly as its a 3 bedroom house. Where is the line between reasonable wear and tear and actual damage?

Also, the landscaped garden had not been maintained - shrubs were “pruned” agressively , grass and weeds left to grow.I had someone come to view it today and their response was it needed repainting and a gardener to returf/reseed the lawn etc.
How do I deal with this issue?

Any advice is appreciated. Many thanks

Hi Ewa1

I think first and foremost what was the small print in the contract regarding the garden and upkeep, I would happen a guess this should have been covered otherwise it would be your word against theirs as to who is ultimately responsible etc.
I honestly think walls being marked but not damaged as such (holes, cracked plaster etc) would be hard to argue its more than fair wear n tear after 2 years occupation? Are you holding them to the condition it was rented out in the first place as you say a show home, this might be an unreasonable expectation.


If you have a outstandingly airtight inventory then you have a small possible argument regarding the marked walls yet sounds like you dont & in any respect i think you may wish to let that one slide & best you could get for the garden is a small amount for a gardener for an hour so I would advise you to spend your time better on seeking out an airtight inventory draft & AST to prevent this in the future & swallow any ego to save you the pain of a deposit dispute LongStory

Thank you for the responses. I am inclined to let the whole house repainting slide except for the wallpapered walls which should not have been wallpapered and the tenant accepted to bear costs of stripping and repainting. They had 2 kids at the start of tenancy - max 4 people in the contract but after a few months I discovered the two teenage sons have moved in additionally as their dad moved away and they came to stay with their mother. So the house was occupied by 6 people which, for a small 3 bed semi equates with additional wear and tear
I have found new tenants today (very fast service in Open Rent!) despite the greasy wall marks everywhere but they do expect new lick of paint prior to moving in. I wont have a long empty period so I ll pay for repainting. which will benefit both me and tenants to keep ptoperty in good state of repair.
Thanks again

A time dated VIDEO of ALL areas immediately before tenant occupation

Otherwise how are you going to prove to an arbitrator how they inherited
Be fair on wear and tear-“may have to paint” isn’t going to impress an arbitor who will find for tenant otherwise!!

Dr David Noble

Don’t rent a show home - ever! Especially not to families with children. It will never, ever, ever end well!

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Very true I am a builder and renovate for landlords, myself and homeowners. Standards for tenants are not the same as for a homeowner. Clean and neat, but posh is a waste of time

I have a video of the property before occupation but I doubt it can be used to show as proof. All walls are light greish and the phone video is not the best quolity. However we have agreed on deductions yesterday after I got a decorating quote . It worked out full amount for the two wallpapered room and 25% for the rests of the house to be repainted. I am a happy bunny now.

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The new tenants are a childless couple:) I found that having a good quolity place makes it easier to rent out.

better quality video perhaps?

Always better to come to an agreement on wear and tear with tenants

You wont necessarily get a good reception from arbitration who take a tough line!

Dr David Noble
glad it worked out
Wallpaper -in a btl?

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Hi David,

Is it possible that you can send me a draft of the contract or additional clauses you put onto OpenRents contract to

Many thanks,

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