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Understanding Normal Wear and Tear versus Excessive Property Damage in Rental Properties

Normal Wear and Tear

A Comprehensive Guide for Tenants and Landlords

Defining what constitutes normal wear and tear can be somewhat nuanced. In general terms, it pertains to the natural deterioration of a property resulting from everyday use. Consequently, it is not permissible to utilize your tenant’s security deposit to address issues that fall under normal wear and tear. In such instances, the security deposit should be returned, as long as there are no other financial obligations, such as unpaid rent due to lease violation or abandonment, to be considered.

Examples of issues typically categorized as normal wear and tear within a rental property include:

It is the landlord’s responsibility to cover the expenses for repairing such wear and tear issues.

Normal Wear and Tear vs. Damage | Rental Property Guide, VPMG

Excessive property damage

Understanding Excessive Property Damage

Property damage, in this context, goes beyond the realm of normal wear and tear. In cases of property damage, it is the tenant’s sole responsibility to address and rectify the damage. If a tenant vacates the property without addressing the damage, the landlord has the option to use a portion or the entirety of their security deposit to fund the necessary repairs.

Examples of damage that exceed normal wear and tear include:

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