Property Management Blog

Security Deposits and Normal Wear and Tear

System - Thursday, September 1, 2022

In our last couple of newsletters, we’ve talked about the rising costs of maintenance and why it’s still not worth it to let tenants make their own repairs.

What about the normal wear and tear that occurs during any tenancy? Repairs are bound to be needed when one tenant moves out and you’re preparing to attract a new tenant to your property.

We call this the turnover period - and we work hard to minimize vacancy and costs.

When it comes to wear and tear, however, we cannot charge the tenant’s security deposit for those costs. This is often a surprise to our owners.

It’s acceptable to charge the deposit for tenant damage. We do that with careful documentation and inspections, noting anything that may have occurred at the property due to a tenant’s abuse, misuse, or neglect. Sometimes it’s accidental. Damage is still the tenant’s responsibility, and any work we have done to repair that damage will not be charged to you. It will be charged against your tenant’s deposit.

Normal wear and tear is different. We cannot charge the deposit for that.

What is normal wear and tear?

  • Small nail holes in walls from where pictures were hung.
  • Scuffs in floors and on walls from where furniture was resting.
  • Worn carpet in high-traffic areas.

These types of things are your responsibility as a property owner. We’ll handle the repairs, and you’ll receive the invoices.

Security deposits can be tricky. Each state has its own specific and consistently enforced laws. Tenants are likely to push back if they feel a deduction has been made unjustly.

You don’t have to worry, however. We handle every security deposit disposition professionally and with all the documentation necessary to support the charges we make against that deposit.

Check in with us in our newsletters later this fall. We’ll be talking about why you make more money from your rental property when you treat it like a business.

If you enjoy working with us, your friends and colleagues might, too. Please feel free to refer anyone who needs reliable leasing and management services - we appreciate your referrals and your trust!