• Defining Wear and Tear

    A hole in a plaster wall, a broken window, crayon marks on the ceiling, cabinet doors torn off their hinges—those are obviously above and beyond normal wear and tear. How about a worn place in the carpet, or tiles on the kitchen floor that are cracked or missing? That is where the tenant can claim that he does not owe a dime of the security deposit because that was just “normal wear and tear” and you cannot charge him for that. Less than stellar tenants are experts in “normal wear and tear” because they have caused so much of it. So what really is considered “normal wear and tear?”

    A rule of thumb to follow, whenever there is a question about who should pay for damage, the landlord should pay. In this tip, however, I will remove some of the question and possibly enable you to get a better idea of when you should deduct money from the security or cleaning deposits.  (more…)

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