Tenant Damages vs. Normal Wear and Tear

Wear and Tear vs. Tenant Damages

Florida Law allows landlords and property managers to charge tenants for damages that occur at a property above “normal wear and tear”. We get asked what that means quite often, and the government has not yet released any hard evidence to differentiate between what is Normal and what is considered Damage.

We consider “Normal Wear and Tear” to be the normal deterioration which occurs to a property naturally and without regard to any negligence, carelessness, accidents or abuse to the property by the tenants or their guests.

Damage would then be anything caused by the negligence, carelessness, abuse or accident of the tenants and their guests. This can include “improvements” that are not completed correctly (such as painting and touching ceiling or baseboards, or not matching paint correctly).

The following is an incomplete list of scenarios that are to represent a reasonable interpretation of the differences between Normal Wear and Tear and Damages. We use this reference to determine our charges and claims. Keep in mind this is not an exhaustive list, and is meant as a rough guide only. Also keep in mind that every situation is different, and judgment calls must be made in the event that an item falls between the 2 scenarios.

Wear and Tear


1. Small nail holes caused by “6 penny nails” or smaller. Large holes from screws, wall anchors, or brackets. 2. Faded or worn paint. Non-matching touch up painting or patching. 3. Faded caulking around tub/shower. Missing or mildewed caulking. 4. Hard water deposits Dirt/mildew/mold build-up from preventable or unreported leaks or drips. 5. Worn out keys. Broken, Lost, or Unreturned Keys or Knobs. 6. Loose Hinges or Handles. Damaged doors or hardware from forced entry. 7. Worn carpet traffic patterns. Torn, burned, stained, missing, ripped, or snagged carpet. 8. Faded finish on wood floors. Scratched, gouged, warped, or water damaged floors. 9. Linoleum worn thin.

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