Thursday, January 2, 2014

A guide to rental property damage

Scuffmarks and chipped paint are considered wear and tear. However, walls and ceilings that have holes and gouges are more serious conditions that fall under property damage.

Property damage is an issue every renter will have to face sooner or later. Once a tenant moves out, it’s time to assess the property’s condition and figure out if the deterioration is just from typical wear and tear or damage. Here are some tips on how to deliver a fair assessment on every area of the home. 

Walls and ceiling

Scuffmarks and chipped paint are considered wear and tear. However, walls and ceilings that have holes and gouges are more serious conditions that fall under property damage. If you have a prior agreement with your tenant that hooks and nails aren’t allowed on the walls, then wall damage from hooks and nails should also be considered damage. 

Doors and windows

Wear and tear for doors includes hairline cracks and chipping. Big dents, holes and scratches are also considered damage. Make sure to check the doorknobs and locks as well, as these are expensive to replace. Stuck windows from old age are regular wear and tear, but broken and cracked glass windows should be considered damage. 

Bathroom fixtures

Bathroom leaks are up for minor repairs, as well as cracked toilet seats and scratched lavatories. More severe problems lie in cracked shower screens, toilet cisterns and lids. Cracks and staining on the lavatory also fall under property damage. 

Kitchen appliances

Broken knobs on ovens are common and usually become brittle and break over time. This is considered wear and tear. However, cracked or broken glass constitutes more serious damage. Refrigerators and freezers show wear and tear on the outside with loose handles and failing seals, but dents on the exterior and interior of the appliance are more severe. 

Window blinds

The usual wear and tear for window blinds usually involves fraying edges, discoloration and broken chains, but beyond these conditions, particularly if the damage seems deliberate or from lack of maintenance, this should be classified under property damage. - Aislinn Kee 


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