Can a landlord claim to redecorate whole wall if wall is scratched by tenant?

Short answer is yes (possibly).

Long-winded answer…..

The first thing to consider is whether the scratch is ‘fair wear and tear’ or ‘damage’. Scratches caused by the tenant making reasonable use of the premises would be considered fair wear and tear. E.g. micro (barely visible to the naked eye) scratches caused by cleaning.

Clearly visible scratches or dents to the walls (or decoration thereon) are damage. Irrespective of how big they are or whether they are accidental or malicious, it is damage. If the tenant has damaged the wall (or decoration) they should expect to pay compensation to the landlord. The level of compensation should be a reasonable reflection of actual costs incurred (or likely to be incurred) to repair the damage and will depend on the length and depth of scratch and type of any decoration e.g. wallpaper or paint. Under certain circumstances the level of compensation could be an amount sufficient to re-paint a whole wall. However an amount of compensation sufficient to paint a whole room (or house!) would be classed as ‘betterment’ as it would put the landlord in a better position than at the start of the tenancy and therefore would not be acceptable.

Anyone disagree with me? Anyone had an experience of a landlord trying to get compensation to paint a whole room or even a house!

More info here and here

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