Drawing the Line Between Wear and Tear and Property Damage

draw-the-line-1159036It’s virtually impossible to live in an apartment without causing some damage. Stains on the carpet can be expected, but where does a good landlord draw the line between normal wear and tear and property damage?
Inevitably, a tenants will cause some serious damage to your unit – that’s what security deposits are for! Damage like cigarette burns on the carpet, large marks or holes in the wall, broken tiles or flooring and ripped carpeting are all serious forms of property damage.
On the other hand, you’re much more likely to encounter normal wear and tear. That can take the form of water stains in the bathroom, small nicks in the paint, sun-faded and stained carpeting.
By using a move-in and move-out checklist, it’ll be easy to spot which damage occurred during your tenant’s residency. Misappropriating a security deposit to repair things deemed “normal” wear and tear is illegal. That’s why it’s critical to check out a unit before and after a tenants has resided there. Your notes on the property’s condition will go a long way in proving your right to that deposit.
– Scott Safadi, Cal Bay Property Management
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