Defining wear and tear isn’t always easy. You might look at a warped cabinet or a door that doesn’t close properly and think it’s damage that was caused by your Irvine tenant. But your tenant may consider those same issues simple wear and tear since nothing was done to intentionally harm the doors.
Generally, normal wear and tear is the deterioration of your property and its functions simply from having someone occupy that property.
In any rental home, areas and appliances will see their condition decline simply because of use. Tile floors will dull and discolor when multiple people and sometimes pets walk over them every day.
You have to consider time as well – the longer a tenant lives in your property, the more wear and tear is likely to be left behind.
Let’s talk about what you can consider normal wear and tear in your Irvine rental property.
Wall Markings are Wear and Tear
Those small nail holes in the walls are likely due to pictures that have been hung by your tenants. Maybe they had mirrors or paintings on display and when they took the nails out, those tiny holes remained. Some tenants may fill those holes before leaving, but most of them will not. You’ll be responsible for repairing the walls as the property owner because these holes are considered normal wear and tear.
Scuff marks may appear on the wall as well. When furniture is placed against those walls, there’s likely to be discoloration when the furniture is later moved away. You’ll have to paint, and you cannot charge the tenant’s security deposit for that work. It’s normal.
Worn Carpet in High-Traffic Areas
When carpet is torn, stained, or ripped up by animals, you can consider that to be damage and you’ll be able to hold your tenants accountable for cleaning or replacing the carpet. However, if the carpet is worn in certain areas due to high traffic, you’re going to need to consider that normal wear and tear.
Stairs, for example, may be carpeted and well-traveled. That path that leads from the front door to the kitchen will likely be more worn than areas of flooring that don’t get much use or attention.
Faded Paint from Sun or Time
If your tenants have lived in the property for five years, you can expect the paint will be chipped, faded, and worn. You’ll need to repaint the property before you re-rent the home, and that’s going to be your expense since that fading is generally considered wear and tear.
Sunlight can also make paint deteriorate faster, so the walls that are opposite windows may lose their luster faster.
Mold and Dirt on Grout and Tiles
It would be nice if tenants took a toothbrush to the shower walls and bathroom floors and scrubbed all the mold and mildew out from between the tiles. They’re unlikely to do that, however, and all that black gunk that tends to gather will be considered wear and tear unless it’s seriously damaged or tiles are missing and cracked.
These are just some of the most common examples of wear and tear we can offer you as professional Irvine property managers who deal with move-outs all the time. If you’d like some help determining where the line is crossed from wear and tear into tenant damage, contact us at HCM Property Management.