Realty Bites

I'm moving out of my apartment and there's peeling paint in the bathroom. Could I lose my security deposit?

  • Peeling paint is something a landlord is required to address and is considered normal wear and tear
By Austin Havens-Bowen  |
November 29, 2022 - 1:30PM

Peeling paint in a bathroom is considered normal wear and tear.


I’m moving out of my apartment and there’s peeling paint in the bathroom, which doesn’t have any ventilation. Could I lose my security deposit if I don’t fix it or is this considered normal wear and tear?

Peeling paint would be considered normal wear and tear in a New York City rental apartment. In your case, you should not lose your security deposit because of the paint issue in your bathroom and it’s always a good idea to let your landlord know about the need for repairs as they arise.

Is peeling paint considered normal wear and tear? 

Peeling paint is considered normal wear and tear regardless of the situation, says Marc Weber, asset manager at Weber Realty Management. “We usually repaint all apartments if a resident was living there for three or more years,” he says.

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In fact all New York City landlords are required to paint an apartment every three years, according to the city’s Housing Maintenance Code. They also must get rid of mold and mildew—which can be present in your bathroom if there is inadequate ventilation. 

Steven Kirkpatrick, partner at Romer Debbas, previously told Brick that all tenants have the right to request an inspection before you move out. An inspection usually happens about two weeks before you leave—this gives you a chance to identify and potentially fix any problems that could result in losing all or part of your security deposit. 

Another tip: Take multiple photos of the apartment before you move out, Kirkpatrick says. This way you have proof of the apartment's condition in case your landlord claims you damaged the apartment and refuses to return your security deposit. 

Will I lose my security deposit over peeling paint? 

You cannot lose any of your security deposit for damage that’s considered normal wear and tear. If your landlord does withhold part of your deposit for any reason, they are required to provide you with an itemized statement of repairs plus the remaining deposit within two weeks of you moving out. 

If your landlord does not give your deposit back in time, or uses it for something like fixing peeling paint, you can file a complaint with the New York Attorney General. 



Austin Havens-Bowen

Staff Writer

Staff writer Austin Havens-Bowen covers the rental market and answers renters' questions in a column called Realty Bites. He previously reported on local news for the Queens Ledger and The Hunts Point Express in the Bronx. He graduated from Hunter College with a BA in media studies. He rents a one-bedroom apartment in Astoria with his boyfriend and their two cats.

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