In the property world, one person's 'slight scratch' can be another person's 'disaster zone.'
However, you don't have to enter a war of words with your tenant if the worse happens. Knowing how to manage normal wear and tear will ensure you can lease your property without worry.
In this guide, we'll navigate you through those complexities. We'll explain the difference between wear and tear and more substantial damage and how to protect your property and furnishings.
What's the Difference Between Normal Wear and Tear and Damage?
When managing a property, you must distinguish between normal wear and tear and more problematic damage.
Normal wear and tear refers to the minor and inevitable deterioration of part of your home or furnishings. It happens because of daily use and aging.
Damage implies a more negative impact on the property. It happens because of misuse, accident, or neglect.
Always ensure you understand the distinction. It will save you from problems when raising damage concerns with tenants. And it will also help you judge factors like the security deposit.
Wear and Tear: Things to Spot
If you want to figure out if problems are wear and tear, first ask yourself whether the damage is predictable. It should also be minor and gradual to be something you'd classify as wear and tear.
An excellent example of this is fading paint and peeling wallpaper. This happens from age and sunlight exposure or dry air. Wear on the carpet is another practical example - it will fade and flatten over time.
Other signs of wear and tear include squeaking or stiff doors, scuffed woodwork, or loose hardware. If you have old furnishings or low-cost furnishings, expect these to deteriorate and show signs of wear and tear.
Spotting Significant Damage and What to Do
More significant damage is often severe, intentional, or a result of negligence. It could include large holes in walls or doors.
Broken windows are sure signs of property damage. And any burns in the house or furnishings are always a sign of damage.
If you spot these issues, document them with photographs and descriptions. After that, get some professional quotes to assess the cost of repair. You must communicate these issues to a tenant as soon as possible.
You want to clarify that your tenant bears the cost of this damage via their security deposit.
Rental Property Maintenance: How to Mitigate Wear and Tear
Wear and tear costs you money as a property owner. So it is sensible to try and prevent as much wear and tear as possible.
Inspect the property regularly and maintain items that need minor repairs. And set clear expectations with your tenant via a detailed lease. If things need specific care, explain this. Buy furnishings that are durable and cheap to repair or replace.
Keeping Your Rental Property In Great Condition
It's nerve-wracking to lease a property for the first time. If you are worried about normal wear and tear, take sensible steps to protect your property. And always make sure you have a robust lease agreement.
Another way to protect your property is to hire professional property management. Contact us at Pristine Property Management in Miami, Florida, to see how our full-service offering could help you.