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Fix wall. Can the landlord make me do this?

Posted by David on April 30, 2001 at 12:38:52:

The landlords have asked us the repair a paneled wall we painted over.

In their letter they have refered to the paneling as "mahogany" paneling (it's actually 1/4" Birch veneered plywood); are demanding a contractor do the work (it was put up by former owners and show shoddy workmanship; eg. nails protruding, uneven joints, nailed up warped up over an existing doorframe to hide a old entry); and that we fully repair the wall behind it prior to putting up new panel (even though the wall has suffered unseen water and structural damage as a result of the first installation that neither we nor they supervised).

How should I respond? Are we not responsible only to return the wall to the condition that it was in when we rented it? We believe this is retalitory for trying to move earlier than our lease expiration due to loss of my job and locating new work 35 miles away.

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