Ms. Demeanor's Vertical Etiquette

Dear Ms. Demeanor: My roommate's flat screen damaged the wall. Who pays?

By Jamie Lauren Sutton  | January 26, 2011 - 1:54PM

Dear Ms. Demeanor,

My roommate recently got into medical school.  He moved out and took his wall-mounted flatscreen TV with him.  The landlord saw the holes and said he would withhold $250.00 from our security deposit unless we got them patched up. Two of us are left to (a) find a new roommate and (b) pay to fix the anchor holes left by the TV.

Don't you think Dr. Flatscreen should ante up?  He says since we used his TV while it was there, we should pay.

Staring at a blank wall with big holes,

Roommates #1 and #2


Dear RM #1 and RM #2,

First of all, mazel tov to the future Dr. Flatscreen - I am sure his parents are proud of him and you should be too.  

If the television and resulting holes are in his old room, it would be appropriate for him to pay for the repairs.  If the televsion was in a communal room and used as such, I think arguments can be made that the expenses should be divided by three OR shared by the two who had use of a free, great flatscreen TV while it lasted.  

We are not talking about amounts of money here that would warrant anything further: Unless your landlord is planning to resurrect Michaelangelo to spackle and paint the wall, $250.00 is a gross overestimate for the work even in this town.  It's a shame that it had to happen so close to Super Bowl Sunday, but with the great deals on flatscreens these days, maybe those holes are ripe for a brand-new television?

Go Jets!

Ms. Demeanor

Ms. Demeanor is channeled by a longtime Manhattan vertical dweller and real-estate voyeur who writes under the pen name Jamie Lauren Sutton. She is here to commiserate, calm and correct. Please email your quandaries to [email protected] and put "Dear Ms. Demeanor" in the subject line.

See all of Ms. Demeanor's advice here.


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