What is Considered Normal Wear and Tear - article banner

Wear and tear isn’t always an easy subject when we’re talking about Kelowna rental property.

Once your tenants vacate your home, you’ll need to do your inspection. This is the first step in the turnover process, when you prepare to re-rent the property. Normal wear and tear must be covered by property owners, but how do you know where that ends and tenant damage begins?

It isn’t always easy, but we have a few tips on identifying wear and tear.

Identifying Normal Wear and Tear in a Kelowna Rental Property

Normal wear and tear is the natural deterioration that happens to a property whenever a person or people live in that property. It’s the type of thing that will happen to any home, no matter who is living in it.

For the purposes of rental property, wear and tear usually will include:

  • Small nail holes in the wall from where a tenant might have hung pictures or mirrors or clocks.
  • Scuff marks on the walls or in the carpet from where furniture rested.
  • Worn carpet in high-traffic areas.
  • Paint that has faded due to sunlight or age.
  • Appliances needing repairs and replacements because they’ve been used every day.

Landlords are responsible for these costs because they go with the expenses that you plan on when you buy an investment home.

Make sure you’re budgeting for wear and tear items during turnover periods. You cannot charge the tenant’s security deposit for these things.

When Wear and Tear Becomes Tenant Damage

Property damage is different from wear and tear. It’s something that was caused by the tenant or a tenant’s guest, and it’s not your responsibility. Even if the damage resulted from a mistake or an accident, the tenant is still responsible to pay for it.

Maybe there’s a large hole in the wall from when a piece of furniture was being moved out. Or, a tenant’s child could have written on the walls in crayon or backed up the toilet by flushing a collection of unwanted toys.

Damage should be paid for out of the tenant’s security deposit, and to cover yourself and protect yourself against any claims or disputes, you need to document the damage. Inspections are important, especially inspections before the lease term begins and after the tenants move out.

Move-In and Move-Out Reports

In order to properly determine whether there’s real damage left behind at your property, you need to accurately document the home’s condition before a tenant moves in and after a tenant moves out. Make sure you have pictures or videos to go with your descriptions and checklists. That way, if a tenant tries to claim that the door was hanging off its hinges when they moved in, you’ll have evidence to the contrary.

Security deposits are often an area of contention between landlords and tenants. Tenants tend to think that everything is wear and tear, and landlords may see everything as damage. A well-documented inspection report and good communication with your residents will help you avoid and manage any disagreements.

Turnover periodsIf you have any questions about wear and tear or anything pertaining to managing your Kelowna investment property, please contact us at Vantage West Property Management.