Val Kilmer Misguided Actor Sues Landlord In Small Claims Court

10/23/2014 12:36 PM PDT

Val Kilmer -- Misguided Actor Sues Landlord in Small Claims Court

EXCLUSIVE

Val Kilmer clearly doesn't watch "The People's Court" or "Judge Judy" ... because he's about to learn a hard lesson about tenants doing home improvements.

Val was in Van Nuys small claims court Thursday ... battling his landlord over $6,000 that was withheld from his security deposit when he moved out of his Malibu rental.

The landlord claims Val made unauthorized improvements on the beach house. But Val just told the judge the landlord should give him his money back along with a big THANK YOU. The actor claims he materially improved the pad by putting some sort of wallpaper on the wooden cabinets and painted the fireplace.

The landlord doesn't like what Val did at all ... and submitted scores of pics to prove his point.

Fact is, it doesn't matter.  According to the testimony ... there's a lease that says a tenant can ONLY modify the rental with the landlord's prior written approval, and apparently that didn't happen.

Val's security deposit totaled $23,500 and the landlord returned all but $7,400.  The judge took the case under submission, which means in a few days Val will get a letter ... and we're guessing it won't be good news.