Defining Normal Wear and Tear on a Rental Property

A rental property is a great investment, and it can be a good source of income. As a landlord you can expect some wear and tear on your property; however, it is important to distinguish this normal wear and tear from considerable damage, which will need repairs. In cases of actual damage, the security deposit paid by the tenant can be used by the landlord for the repairs.

Normal Wear and Tear

Fading paint is inevitable, even when the tenant is very conscientious and takes good care of the property. A few small holes on the wall from hanging pictures can also be considered normal wear and tear.

Carpets may wear out due to constant use in a rental property. They may also show some discoloration. Dust and dirt in some amounts is normal in most properties. Dirty blinds and curtains that have faded with use are also part of normal wear and tear that occurs with time. Blind pulls or strings may also be worn or frayed due to constant use.

Plumbing repairs are the landlord's responsibility. Mold that grows in damp areas as a result of broken pipes can also be considered normal wear and tear if the tenant notified the and the landlord was not prompt in initiating repairs.

Actual Damage

The following conditions can be defined as actual damage, and the landlord can use part of the security deposit or the entire amount to perform repairs on the property.

Stripped paint, markings on the wall and torn wallpaper are not part of normal wear and tear. Too many holes in the wall can also be considered actual damage. Torn carpets also constitute permanent damage, as do stains, burns, and blotches on carpets. Deep scratches on wood floors is also considered actual damage.

Stains and odors on the floor or carpet because of pets are also considered damage, as they can be quite time consuming to remove. Broken fixtures and furniture can be used to claim for damage compensation. Doors or windows that are broken or have cracks on them constitute permanent.

Though some dust is normal in any living space, an excessive amount of dirt, grime, and dust in a dwelling is considered damage. Sometimes, such dirty surroundings may require expensive professional cleaning.

If a tenant has pets, it is their responsibility to ensure that the animals are kept healthy and free of parasites. Some pets can leave behind a flea infestation that requires professional treatment and removal.

In the kitchen, the stove, oven, and refrigerator are used on a daily basis. One can expect some signs of use; however, broken compartments in the refrigerator or damaged burners on the stove are the result of negligence or carelessness and constitute actual damage. All the appliances must be in good working condition. The oven must also be working well and kept clean.

In the bathroom, the formation of mildew to an extent that requires professional treatment is considered damage. The pipes must be working well, without any drainage problems that could be the result of improper use.