Deposit Problem
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Deposit Problem (by J [FL]) Jul 8, 2018 5:43 PM
       Deposit Problem (by AllyM [NJ]) Jul 8, 2018 6:16 PM
       Deposit Problem (by Vee [OH]) Jul 8, 2018 6:35 PM
       Deposit Problem (by J [FL]) Jul 8, 2018 6:40 PM
       Deposit Problem (by Gene [OH]) Jul 8, 2018 8:17 PM
       Deposit Problem (by J [FL]) Jul 9, 2018 4:24 AM
       Deposit Problem (by Gene [OH]) Jul 9, 2018 5:58 AM
       Deposit Problem (by S i d [MO]) Jul 9, 2018 7:11 AM
       Deposit Problem (by BRAD 20,000 [IN]) Jul 9, 2018 8:11 AM
       Deposit Problem (by J [FL]) Jul 9, 2018 8:53 AM
       Deposit Problem (by CGB [MI]) Jul 9, 2018 10:10 AM
       Deposit Problem (by J [FL]) Jul 9, 2018 10:36 AM
       Deposit Problem (by Mickie [OH]) Jul 9, 2018 11:01 AM
       Deposit Problem (by myob [GA]) Jul 9, 2018 1:07 PM

Deposit Problem (by J [FL]) Posted on: Jul 8, 2018 5:43 PM

These people moved out on June 30. There are some stains on the grout in the two bedrooms. Not just one or two stains, but in numerous places. I've tried muriatic acid, vinegar and baking soda, and Oxiclean. None of these worked at removing the stains.

I have three photos of this in my pic pages. The photos are labeled "Whole Room", "Stain 1", "Stain 2". I don't think it's incredibly obvious just walking into the room but if someone looks down they will notice this problem.

I have to figure out something to do to deduct from the security deposit and fix this. I have a bag of the antique white grout that was used for this originally. Would you dig up the affected areas and try to regrout? Will that look right? Or pay someone to regrout the entire rooms? I have a long distance kind of photo of the floors from before the tenants moved in but not close ups of the floor so it is possible the tenants could object to a large deduction for having a pro regrout.

Or just ignore it and do nothing?

I bought a bottle of grout colorant but I'm wary of using that stuff. It looks more like paint than grout to me.


Deposit Problem (by AllyM [NJ]) Posted on: Jul 8, 2018 6:16 PM

That's why I loathe ceramic tile. I would find some concrete paint in the same color as the grout and try to paint over the part with the stain, and if that didn't work, dig it out and regrout just the area trying to match the tone.

Deposit Problem (by Vee [OH]) Posted on: Jul 8, 2018 6:35 PM

I have not used it for years but at one time there was a grout saw gizmo you put into a sawzall and with a low speed you cut thru much of the grout (I had a job where they selected the right color to match the tiles but did not pay attention to the actual bag color they put in the cart), it worked well to remove about 75 percent, I then mixed the right color and re-smooshed the grout into the newly cut slot.

I must ask why white? I often use a color called haystack with light, white or tan tiles.

Deposit Problem (by J [FL]) Posted on: Jul 8, 2018 6:40 PM

It's not white, it's antique white. It has kind of sandy color. I don't know if you can see that in the photos.

I own a dremel with a couple of grout carbide attachments so getting the grout out of a few areas should not be a big deal. I just hope it doesn't need to be done extensively.

I am through trying different cleaning products on this though. What a waste of time that was.

Deposit Problem (by Gene [OH]) Posted on: Jul 8, 2018 8:17 PM

We have ceramic tile in a kitchen and when we have the carpets steam cleaned, we have them also steam clean the tile and grout. The grout always looks like new. Wondering if steam cleaning might work even if the other methods didn't work.

Deposit Problem (by J [FL]) Posted on: Jul 9, 2018 4:24 AM

Thanks Gene. If the steam cleaning doesn't work, can I still charge the tenant's deposit for it?

Deposit Problem (by Gene [OH]) Posted on: Jul 9, 2018 5:58 AM

J, I probably would charge for any cleaning expenses that goes beyond the normal. I do remember that a long time ago I did put a sealer on the grout on that kitchen floor. That may be why the steam cleaning is able to remove the dirt and grime each time.

I know that an attorney at our real estate group has stated that more and more landlords are afraid to charge anything against the tenant's deposits. So they give back the tenant's deposits and then sue them for any damages. This seems like too much trouble. I have even seem some comments on this site about charging a move-in fee close to the rental amount so they don't have to worry about the deposit laws and any possible consequences.

Deposit Problem (by S i d [MO]) Posted on: Jul 9, 2018 7:11 AM

"Can I charge the deposit?"

Yep. Anything beyond normal usage is charged. My lease specifically states (copied and pasted):

"Wear and Tear: TENANT agrees that DIRT, FILTH, GREASE, GRIME, SMUDGES, DINGS, HOLES, STAINS, SCRATCHES, TEARS, CRACKS, CHIPS, AND BREAKAGE does not constitute normal usage and will be billed as damages. _____ _____ _____ _____ (initials)"

They are always welcome to sue me in court if they want to try to convince the judge that dirt and destruction is normal. I have never, in 13 years of LLing, received more than a couple of idle, "we shouldn't have to pay for that" gripes. One threat of a lawsuit. Never happened. Be bold! Or as another frequent poster here often reminds us, "Timid land lords raise skinny kids." - Brad 20K

Deposit Problem (by BRAD 20,000 [IN]) Posted on: Jul 9, 2018 8:11 AM


Gravity is working against you. Use a strong shop vac to LIFT the stain out. Chemicals and cleaners will only loosen the stain then gravity will take it deeper.

Any chance you can put fresh grout powder on top of the stain?

Rule #436: no white grout in rentals!


Deposit Problem (by J [FL]) Posted on: Jul 9, 2018 8:53 AM

"Any chance you can put fresh grout powder on top of the stain?"

Does this work? I always heard not to put grout on top of existing grout.

Deposit Problem (by CGB [MI]) Posted on: Jul 9, 2018 10:10 AM

You can also try cleaning the grout with an old toothbrush and toothpaste (a mild abrasive).

Deposit Problem (by J [FL]) Posted on: Jul 9, 2018 10:36 AM

Thanks, I've tried every toothbrush and grout brush method with this already.

I set up a steam cleaning tomorrow with a company I've used before for carpet cleaning, so we'll see what happens (and bill to tenant). Thanks.

Deposit Problem (by Mickie [OH]) Posted on: Jul 9, 2018 11:01 AM

This will sound crazy and you certainly won't want to do it all the time but in tile bathrooms I have used oven cleaner with very good results. Spray it and leave in on for 10 or 15 minutes then sponge it off and rinse with water.

Deposit Problem (by myob [GA]) Posted on: Jul 9, 2018 1:07 PM

mask it and call it a day. get a testors bottle of antique white cover the whole line with it-- and move on.

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