Property Management Blog

What’s the Difference Between Wear and Tear and Property Damage?

Property Management Blog

If you’re a property owner, this can be a complicated and expensive question, and it’s only the beginning. Tenants who are moving out often expect their deposit back. Are they entitled to it? You and the tenant disagree about who is liable for damages. But where do you draw the line? What are you, the property owner, responsible for? Who can you turn to for answers? 

Palomar Property Services is here for you. And with our years of experience, expertise, and state of the art technology on your side, you’re sure to settle these pressing issues and many more, with ease. You can rest assured your property is in good hands. 

So how do you determine what’s wear and tear vs property damage? 

Unfortunately, there is no simple answer. When signing a rental agreement, tenants promise to keep their rental unit in generally the same condition until they vacate, but even the best tenant will, over the course of time, inflict wear or damage to the property. Normal wear and tear to the unit is defined as unavoidable deterioration of a unit resulting from typical use by the tenant. Some examples of wear and tear are worn or faded carpet, small nail holes in the walls, and fading paint or curtains. The unit will inevitably depreciate. Wear and tear are the financial responsibility of the property owner and are typical of property ownership. 

Damages, on the other hand, are defined as unexpected harm that affects the value, usefulness, or normal function of a unit. Either inflicted purposefully or by neglect, some examples of damage are damaged or missing door handles or locks, broken windows, or a carpet soaked in pet urine. These damages are the financial responsibility of the tenant, and payment for these repairs could be withheld from a tenant’s security deposit. Some simpler than others, most issues of damage vs wear and tear are complex and require a certain degree of expertise to determine the best course of action and financial responsibility. And unfortunately, in disputes between a tenant and property owner, if you make the wrong move you could end up in legal trouble. 

Additionally, there are many rental disputes that are even more complex, making it extremely difficult to determine who should be financially responsible for them. For example, the damages that may arise as a result of a leaky pipe under a sink. This can cause mold growth, which in time can create major problems. In an ideal situation, tenants would immediately report the leaky pipe to the property owner, who would work quickly to resolve the problem. But who is liable for the resulting mold growth? A property owner has the responsibility to maintain the property, following building codes, making needed repairs, and ensuring things like running water are available. But determining who is responsible for damages and the best way to resolve them can be a full-time job. 

Fortunately, Palomar Property Services has a solution for these issues and more. We know what both sides of the security deposit dispute look like, and we know the processes for settling tenant disputes professionally and lawfully. Starting with our extensive tenant screening process, we make renting your property safe and easy. We conduct inspections upon move-in and move-out, using state of the art inspection software, to include detailed documentation of your property’s condition. While your property is occupied, we conduct thorough, routine inspections, to ensure that issues are addressed in a timely manner and resolved to keep your investment in excellent condition. We offer easy to use online maintenance request forms, so that tenants can report any problems with the property, and 24-hour emergency availability to respond to and resolve them. We provide routine exterior and interior property inspections, which give us an opportunity to identify any health or safety related matters that could become a liability for you in the future. Our vendors and property managers are experts in reporting and documenting damage, and we excel at substantiating claims of damage. Palomar Property Services is dedicated to offering you the best possible solution to all your property management needs, and a free rental analysis tool to help you get started. 

So, with all these complicated, expensive, and time-consuming questions, the answer is clear. Only one property management service in Escondido has the experience and resources needed to take care of every facet of your investment: Palomar Property Services.

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