Documenting Wear and Tear vs Damage

by Remy Lacanaria

Posted on 2019-07-14 20:17:02

Normal Wear and Tear vs Damage.PNG 


Documenting Wear and Tear vs Damage


Documenting wear and tear vs damage is a crucial part of managing properties. Why? Because it will help to know what needs to be paid or fixed as soon as possible and who should be responsible for the costs.                            

How can you tell if it is normal wear and tear vs. damage? It is necessary to determine first.  Closely documenting the condition of the property is important so that the landlord can account for normal wear and tear. Normal wear and tear happen naturally due to aging. And the damage is not normal to happen, it could be because of negligence or was committed on purpose.

And to help landlord distinguish which are those wear and tear vs damage, the landlord may think of which are those caused by nature and which is caused by daily use or under the control of a person.

Under the landlord and tenant law, it is the landlord's responsibility to ensure that the rental property is well maintained and in good repair. And this includes keeping the rental property with a clean, safe and habitable place to live.

Whether it's intentional or accidental damage caused by tenants or their guests is the tenant's responsibility. But still should be reported to either property manager or landlord.


Here are steps to do to help landlords document wear and tear vs. damage:

1. Tenant move-in checklist

A landlord should have a move-in checklist and should see each room with the tenant. It would be better to document the current condition and take pictures of each area upon move in. Do not forget to include the appliances and outdoor areas of the property.

2. Regular inspection

Landlords should do regular inspection of the property. It will keep them updated on the current condition of the property and appliances. By having a regular inspection, landlords will know what needs to be fixed. It can be fixed the soonest possible time to save on further costly damages.

3. Responding to maintenance requests

When landlords respond to the maintenance request of the tenant, it will show that their maintenance is being done in a timely manner. Fixing an issue before it arises, won't get it worse and will incur a lower cost.

4. Have a tenant move-out checklist

If the tenant has to move out, landlords must do the move-out checklist. Go room by room and write down any damage or damages that have been done, you can take pictures as well.


After your done making the move-out checklist, take a look on the move-in checklist that was made before the tenant moved in, that way landlords will know who is responsible for the damage. If the tenant caused the damage, the cost to fix it can be deducted from their security deposit.

Documenting damages vs normal wear and tear is not that hard as it used to. Especially now that technology makes our lives easier, you can now document using your camera phones and store it in cloud-based storage for future references.



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