by Cierylene Piernes
Posted on 2019-08-08 20:17:01
Normal wear and tear naturally occur to any property. It is usually caused by several factors such as tenants living in, and/or aging of the property, in other terms depreciation. On the other hand, damages are physical degradation of the property due to negligence or abuse of its occupants.
The normal wear and tear vs damage is still a highly debatable topic when it comes to rental properties. Because normal wear and tear are shouldered by the landlord and damage are to be borne by the tenants occupying the property. When tenants move out, the cost of damages is to be deducted against their security deposit if not fixed by the tenant during move out.
Let’s discuss how normal wear and tear differs from damage to various parts of rental properties.
Hence, a checklist can help a landlord figure out what is normal wear and tear and what is to be considered the damage.
It will also help to check products useful life, for when a landlord should replace furniture or fixtures on the property. For example, a carpet’s useful life is 5 years, after 5 years it is the landlord's responsibility to replace it for the occupant's safety, not to trip on it.
To help classify which is wear and tear as opposed to damages, let’s quote:
“The easiest way to discern between wear and tear and tenant caused damage is to think of wear and tear as any damage that’s caused by natural forces or damage that’s caused by daily use. Tenant caused damage should be thought of as damage requiring more than routine maintenance to repair. Obviously, this doesn’t include things like a leaky pipe or things that would happen to the property regardless of who the tenant was.”
– Timothy Czekaj, Real Estate Attorney, Czekaj Dusharm LLC