If you look up the definition of normal wear and tear on Google, you’ll find that it is “the unavoidable deterioration on a dwelling and its fixtures resulting from normal use”. An example is carpet that wears down due to regular traffic. That’s normal wear and tear but a cigarette burn on a carpet is not normal wear and tear. It’s damage because it’s avoidable. We have seen clothing iron burns on carpet as well, and when an iron burns a hole in the carpet, it’s definitely considered damage. You want to protect yourself in this process because your tenant is entitled to normal wear and tear but not damage.

Wear and tearPrepare your property before the tenant moves in. Have it cleaned and ready to go. Document the condition of the property on film so you can demonstrate how it looks in a courtroom if you need to. If you have to prove abuse at the time of move out, you’ll have a record. It’s in everyone’s best interest to do this because you don’t want to lose an argument over damage.

Preventative maintenance is important with your rental property. You only want to hire professionals to do work at your property. Never let a tenant do any work on your property because you don’t know if they are qualified to perform the repair. They could easily ruin an appliance or a piece of equipment. Keep track of all your appliance repair history and know what your warranties are in case you need them. At Florida Management & Consulting, we have a specific software system that keeps all of this information organized for our owners.

We can’t emphasize this enough: know the law on security deposits. You’ll find it under Florida Statute 83.49, and it will tell you exactly what’s right and what’s not right when it comes to security deposits and your tenants.

If you have any questions about normal wear and tear, please contact us at Florida Management & Consulting, and we’d be happy to answer them for you.