What’s the Difference?
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||Damage|
|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.||Linoleum with tears, chips, or holes.|
|10. Worn counter-tops due to daily use.||Burned, cut, stained, scratched or water damaged counters.|
|11. Stain on ceiling from rain or water leak.||Unreported leaks, smoking, cooking grease stains.|
|12. Faded, chipped, or cracked paint.||Unapproved or poor tenant paint job.|
|13. Loose wallpaper||Ripped or torn wallpaper.|
|14. Heat blistered blinds.||Blinds with bent or broken slats.|
|15. Sticky window.||Broken window or tabs.|
|16. Toilet wobbling.||Broken seat, tank top, chipped bowl, or running toilet.|
|17. Musty odor.||Urine, pet, or smoke odor.|
|18. Non-functioning smoke detector.||Missing or detached detector.|
|19. Non-functional light fixtures or wiring issue.||Missing, burnt out, or incorrect light bulbs.|
Use this as a reference to determine what steps you should take when moving out to ensure that all damages are taken care of. Keep in mind that in some instances the “repairs” could be minor, such as replacing a light bulb, but that if we have to schedule the repair to completed ourselves a service fee would be charged by the contractor. This would lead to much higher expenses on behalf of the tenant had the tenant taken care of the issue directly. Also, some items, such as mismatched paint for a touch-up or a small tear in the carpet or flooring may require extensive work to repair. Of course damages present when you move into a house should be noted in your move in report or submitted to our office for repair. If you have specific questions regarding any issues with your move in or move out, please contact our office.