What's Considered Normal Wear and Tear on Your Rental Property?
Updated: 5 days ago
Things don’t last forever, even if we would like them to. When we invest in them to rent the property, we want as few damaged goods as possible. While it’s the responsibility of both the tenant and the landlord to take care of the property and its belongings, some things simply damage along with use. But what is normally considered wear and tear when it comes to properties?
Let's go over some examples together in this article.
This is a gradual process that is the result of daily living. Paint slowly fades over time due to exposure to sunlight, extreme temperatures, and humidity. It can also be impacted by the type of paint used, the quality of painting, and the amount of time between painting. It’s no secret that in time, the paint will no longer look fresh.
Our advice is to regularly paint the walls, especially before a new tenant moves in. Some laws require landlords to paint the walls every couple of years to maintain the properties in good condition.
Stained or scuffed walls
To complete the point above, we also want to bring attention to stains and minor scuffs. These happen for many reasons. The tenant may have put their hand on the wall without cleaning it first, they may have moved furniture, etc.
Of course, these are different from bigger damage such as inserting nails into the walls without permission. If you want to be very clear about what they or can’t do to walls, make sure to put everything in the lease agreement.
Worn out carpet
Carpet can be easily damaged. Everybody walks on it, sometimes with shoes, which will wear it out quickly, and it doesn’t keep its good condition for long. Its fabric is always used, and exposed to the elements, and it is expected that it will show signs of wear and tear with time.
Besides this, it collects a lot of dust. Very quickly, it will change colors and will appear more grey-ish. To prevent this from happening, clean it regularly with a color-protecting cleaning product.
They are usually a result of the gradual build-up of debris and grease. Over time, these materials can accumulate in the pipes and cause the sink to drain slower than normal. Despite being considered a normal part of the wear and tear of a property, it’s good to keep an eye on the problem and take action to ensure it does not become worse. Regularly cleaning the sink traps and drain pipes will prevent the issue from escalating.
Hinges get worn out over time from regular use, so it’s perfectly normal they get squeaky. This can occur even with regular maintenance and lubrication and is often not considered a major issue because it is relatively easy and inexpensive to repair. However, they may be indicative of a larger issue, such as a warped door or improper installation, that should be addressed as soon as possible.
Sun-faded blinds and curtains
Probably we’ve all seen curtains whose design pattern has faded due to sun exposure. This is a normal occurrence and it’s no one’s fault. According to Worthington Flowers this is especially the case with curtains, which are often hung in windows that are exposed to direct sunlight, and with blinds, which often have slats that are more exposed to the sun than other parts of the window covering. Although it’s not something that can be prevented, we advice landlords to change them before new tenants move in.
Worn enamel in old bathtub
This happens from the regular use of the bathtub. With regular cleaning and use this can destroyed, just like any other surface material in a home. This is especially the case in bathtubs that have been used for many years and have not been properly maintained. While it may be unsightly, it is often the cost of aging and should not be considered a defect in the property.
Tear and wear, unfortunately, is inevitable when someone lives on the property. To manage this, be proactive and inspect the property regularly. As a landlord, you can establish what you seem reasonable in this category in the lease and you can leave little room for later disputes.
As a last recommendation, we advise working with a property manager who can take the responsibility of regularly conducting inspections to ensure no considerable damages are done and that worn out things are being replaced.
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