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Identify Damage from Wear and Tear

When a new tenant occupies a certain unit of residency, the landlord automatically collects security deposit fund. This is where repair costs will be subtracted in case the tenant damages something in the property. However, landlords sometimes find it difficulty to identify damage from a simple wear and tear. This could lead to disputes between the two parties that could end up in court. If the landlord is proven to be wrongly charging the tenant, he is obliged to return the money. In addition, the court sometimes grants a monetary incentive to a tenant who wins a case pertaining to this kind of matter.

So what exactly is the difference between damage and wear and tear? Damage is characterized by negligence of the tenant, or one of its visitors. For example, you were playing mock baseball inside the house and accidentally broke the glass window, the landlord is then eligible to subtract the repair cost to the security deposit.

Wear and tear, on the other hand, is characterized by a material’s deterioration over time. Neither was it purposely done by the tenant nor was negligence involved. It simply seems to be damaged due to the fact that things eventually wear out. An example of this is when the wall paint fades or is peeled off from the wall. The tenant didn’t do it, it just peeled off by itself. Another example is the foot marks you see on the carpet which are visible on the areas where people walked on the most. Landlords then cannot touch the security deposit fund to have the carpet replaced.

As a responsible and honest property-owner, you should be able to tell the difference between damage and mere wear and tear. This will promote a good relationship between you and your tenants, as well as ensure that your tenants are going to stay in your property for the years to come.

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