What Is Considered Normal Wear and Tear for Rental Properties?

Each time a tenant vacates one of your rental units, you will have to repair and update it. You should expect to have to conduct minor wear and tear repairs, but there’s a clear line between those normal signs of living and more extensive property damage. 

Once you know where to draw the line, you can better determine when a tenant is responsible for those repair costs. 

What Wear and Tear Damage Should You Expect?

No matter how much a tenant respects your property, they will always leave some wear and tear damage. These are minor damages that you can repair easily and cheaply

This type of damage includes worn carpeting, sun-bleached curtains or blinds, and loose tiles or missing grout. You might also see scuff marks on walls or other types of minor, accidental damage.

When Should the Security Deposit Pay for Property Damage Repairs?

Excessive property damage consists of anything that costs more than $50 to repair. Use the tenant’s security deposit to pay for these repairs rather than paying from your own pocket. These damages occur through the actions of the tenant and not through the normal course of living.

Examples of property damages include:

  • Burns or stains on the carpet
  • Pet damages
  • Holes in drywall
  • Missing or torn curtains or blinds

A particularly bad tenant may also leave behind more extensive damage, such as broken or cracked porcelain sinks, toilets, or tubs. Broken windows and screens, damaged appliances, and missing light fixtures also fall under this category.

How Can You Prevent Property Damage?

Even though you collect a security deposit from each tenant, there’s no guarantee that the deposit will cover the full cost of repairs. Additionally, the time and resources put into making those repairs will keep your rental unit vacant for longer. 

You can avoid this situation entirely by reducing the risk of property damage. You should conduct a monthly safety inspection of each unit. This helps you identify the need for repairs sooner. Your tenants will also take better care of your property if they know you’ll be regularly inspecting it. 

Additionally, you’ll promote better landlord/tenant relationships through more frequent contact.

Get the Professional Property Management Help You Need!

Reliable Property Management, Inc. can help you manage and maintain your rental property. Contact us at (443) 869-3799 to learn more about the services we offer to property owners.