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Property Management Blog

Normal Wear and Tear VS Tenant Damage

Normal Wear and Tear VS Tenant Damage

normal wear and tear vs tenant damage


It seems like every month we are discussing what normal wear and tear is and what is considered tenant caused damage. We strive to be fair with both our owners and tenants so we are always doing our research to make sure our standards are on track with others. Most recently we have compared our guidelines to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development says that “the costs an owner incurs for the basic cleaning and repairing of such items necessary to make a unit ready for occupancy by the next tenant are part of the costs of doing business.”

Some items HUD identifies normal wear and tear are

  • Fading, peeling, cracked paint
  • Small chips in the plaster
  • Nail holes, pinholes, cracks in walls
  • Door sticking from humidity
  • Carpet faded or worn from walking
  • Partially clogged sinks caused by aging pipes
  • Dirty or faded lamp or window shades

Tenant caused damages usually cost more to fix and go beyond normal wear and tear items likely a result of a tenants' negligence or abuse.

Some examples from HUD are:

  • Gaping holes in walls or plaster
  • Chipped or gouged wood floors
  • Doors ripped of hinges
  • Holes, stains or burns in the carpet
  • Clogged or damaged toilet from improper use
  • Torn, stained, or missing lamp and window shades

See the attached HUD document and review Appendix 5C and 5D for more information on normal wear and tear as well as a sample life expectancy chart.

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