How to determine normal wear and tear?

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It doesn’t matter whether you’re a tenant or a landlord, it is very important that you know how to differentiate normal wear and tear from actual damage caused by a tenant to a rental unit. In order for a landlord to protect their investment property and at the same time abide by the local state laws by avoiding to unlawfully taking hold of a security deposit. Also to prevent the tenant from causing any damage to the property and for them to know how much security deposit they can take back when they move out, they must know how to differentiate normal wear and tear and actual damage.


To help you out here are some tips in determining normal wear and tear from actual damage.

  • Normal Wear and Tear. No matter how meticulous a tenant is, they will always make minor damage to a rental property over the course of your stay. These minor damages are normally called normal wear and tear, which includes small scratches and nail holes on the walls, worn carpets and broken hinges. The landlord cannot charge the tenant with the repairs of the above mentioned damages for those are normal repairs for normal wear and tear.
  • Damages. Any major damages that do not fall to the category of normal wear and tear must be paid for by the tenant himself. Examples of these damages are large holes in the wall that is not a nail hole and a ripped, heavily and permanently stained carpet.  Also too much garbage, furniture and personal items left by the tenant when he moved out is considered damage. And as you and your landlord had agreed any damages made during your stay that is not normal wear and tear must be paid for by you; thus your landlord have the right to use your security deposit to cover for the repairs and may charge you for more if the cost exceeds your security deposit.

Edited on: Thursday, March 21st, 2013 1:26 am
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