When Kat Arthur rents a house from Edward Thatch on a month-to-month basis, her rent is $900 and she agrees to pay an $800 deposit. Because Kat is a stone sculptor, the house accumulates some stone dust on the interior walls because of her work, which Kat told Edward about before renting the house. Later, when Kat vacates the house, Edward keeps $100 of the deposit to remove the dust and gives Kat a written itemized statement describing the costs of cleaning the walls. Kat files an action in court against Edward for that $100, claiming that he knew she would be sculpting stone and that her dust did not damage the house but instead was part of the normal wear and tear.
How should the judge rule?
- A. For Edward, because the dust is not part of the normal wear and tear expected.
- The correct answer is A. Although a landlord is not entitled to retain part or all of a deposit to compensate for “normal wear and tear,” the Uniform Owner-Resident Relations Act does not consider uncleanliness part of the normal wear and tear. It could be argued that since Edward knew Kat would be sculpting in the house, her stone dust would fall under the Act’s definition of “normal wear and tear” because it is deterioration that occurs based upon the use for which the rental unit is intended. However, it seems more appropriate that the accumulation of dust would be considered “uncleanliness” and therefore Edward correctly withheld the $100 for cleaning purposes.
- B. For Kat, because her deposit should not be kept for cleaning up dust.
- Sorry, but that's not the correct answer. Please select another.