How much should I deduct from my tenants security deposit. The tenants parked on the lawn. The damage is related to the lawn?

My tenant leaves in about a month. Yesterday, I noticed that they have been parking on the lawn, which has caused the grass to turn to dirt. The area that I will need to re-sod is around 600 sq ft. I plan on doing the work myself, but I m unsure of how much to charge them. A sod cutter, dump fees, and pallet of grass will cost around $340. However, I don t know how much to charge them for my labor/time. Any help would be appreciated.

I live in Florida, btw.

Update:

Their security deposit was $1250 and I am considering keeping the whole thing.

Update 2:

I'm not trying to steal anybody's money. My yard has been TRASHED. I explicitly told the tenants not to park on the lawn (it's in the lease as well). I'm simply trying to figure out how to go about getting my house ready to rent again. Thanks to everyone who left CONSTRUCTIVE answers.

14 Answers

Relevance
  • 4 months ago
    Best answer

    Hire a landscaper and charge the tenants what the landscaper bills you. Then you have proof of how much it cost.

    • SimplytheFACTS
      Lv 7
      4 months agoReport

      you can rent the house while working on the yard....just offer the new tenants a 1 month discount because of the condition of the yard...and charge that against the deposit

  • 4 months ago

    If your tenants leave in about a month, give them the opportunity to buy their own $340 sod and repair the lawn themselves rather than keep their whole $1250 deposit. That is just not fair and you know it. When was the last time you were in the house? Maybe you will have a VALID reason to keep more of their deposit once you see what they have done tot he inside. But, again, why not give THEM the opportunity to repair the lawn. They may need their deposit to move into another place. Just be fair. Yes, it is maddening that they parked on the lawn. I get it.

  • Anonymous
    4 months ago

    Look on craigslist for free sod.

  • Anonymous
    4 months ago

    Good god get a damn 25 dollar bag of grass seed and dump it on the space!

  • What do you think of the answers? You can sign in to give your opinion on the answer.
  • 4 months ago

    Unless you have no money to pay someone to do the work, it's always better for landlords to hire out the repairs. Property owners are not entitled to money for doing the repairs yourself.

    Was the tenant responsible for the yard maintenance as part of the lease? If they were and didn't maintenance the yard, then you are entitled to the money.

    If you were paying a gardener and the lawn is damaged, the tenant is unlikely responsible because the yard maintenance was not their responsibility. The gardener should have told you, the yard is getting messed up because they are parking on it and you could have taken action at that time.

    If you do the work yourself, you charge $340 because that is what it costs. Keep the receipts.

    If A sod cutter, dump fees, and pallet of grass will cost around $340

    • A Hunch
      Lv 7
      4 months agoReport

      Simply, you are incorrect on both fronts. Landlords can't charge for maintenance because it's not valid. The yard didn't get messed up one time from parking on the grass unless it was a 10ton truck. The damage occurred over time, thus it was a maintenance issue.

  • 4 months ago

    how much time. off the top of my head, i'd say $25/hour

    • SumDude
      Lv 7
      4 months agoReport

      I have watched TOO MUCH court TV to have misheard or misapplied my gathered info.

  • Anonymous
    4 months ago

    As everyone is saying, hire a landscaper who is going to charge a lot more than what it would cost you to do it yourself. This will save you the time in doing it, and the tenants deserve to have to pay a professional landscaper for not paying attention to your warning letter. Make sure you keep that in your records. If these losers tenants threaten to take you to court, tell them you'll see them there, and they will end up paying more money than what there deposit was. If they did this to the outside of your property, I shudder to think of what they did on the inside. You won't know until they leave. You have every right to keep their entire deposit if you find more damage, and landscapers aren't inexpensive to pay.

  • Anonymous
    4 months ago

    I agree with hiring a landscaper. You should not have to do the work yourself and, as said, you will have an invoice as evidence. Take photos, before and after.

    • Harry4 months agoReport

      Seems to be the safest bet. Thanks

  • ?
    Lv 7
    4 months ago

    You can only deduct the cost of the repair. You have to repair it in order to figure out the cost. Go ahead and keep the whole deposit if you think a judge would agree to that WHEN (not if) you get sued for stealing their money.

    • Lolly
      Lv 7
      4 months agoReport

      What does that have to do with the price of beans in Peru?

  • 4 months ago

    You cannot pay yourself for labor. You can withhold the costs you can prove with receipts (like - the $340). You CANNOT keep the whole security deposit.

    Source(s): Many TV judge shows (including Marilyn Milian - fro Florida)
    • A Hunch
      Lv 7
      4 months agoReport

      Add that if you outsource, even if you lose in court or you never get the judgement paid, it will always be a tax deduction and your "time" is not a tax deduction.

Still have questions? Get answers by asking now.