My wife and I rented an 1100-sqft house in Florida for the last six years. All rent was paid on time, and our credit is good. The landlord has been kind to us, doing such things as forgiving the difference when we accidentally underpaid for nine months. We recently bought our own house and moved out, and we have three weeks left on the lease. Our security deposit was just under $1000.
The lease stipulates that upon moving out, the interior walls must be completely repainted, we must have the house professionally fumigated, and we must have the carpets professionally steam-cleaned. We are to provide receipts, at the risk of not getting back our deposit if we do not comply.
We have about $3000 left in our moving fund, and I thought it would be more than enough to cover those move-out costs. I was wrong. A painter estimated $2000 plus the cost of paint. Fumigation will cost another $2000. The carpet cleaning is a mere $400 by comparison. If there were fleas or stains, I could appreciate the need for these expenditures, but the house is perfectly clean and ready for the next tenants. (We already had a maid service do all other cleaning.)
Painting the walls ourselves is an option but a daunting one. We have zero experience with painting, our free time is limited, and my wife is ill and shouldn't exert herself. We'd prefer to hire someone; the estimate given just happens to be several times what we expected.
Should we spend $4400+ (borrowing from other funds) to pay for these expenses, when the deposit that we'd get back is only $1000?
Would it damage our credit to skip these steps and forfeit the deposit? Are there other compelling motivators to pay?
If we skipped these steps, would we be putting our landlord on the hook to pay for these expenses himself by law, after he has treated us well for six years?
Thanks already for any answers or other advice that you have about this situation.
EDIT: I discussed these requirements with the landlord on the phone when I informed him that we're moving out, and last week I signed a letter of acknowledgement from him spelling out that these expenses were required (with receipts) in order to get back my deposit. I have not specifically asked for relief from paying them in light of how much they cost, but I could try that. There is no mention of my being required to pay extra costs beyond the deposit, in the letter or the lease.