normal wear
Normal Wear and Tear

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Normal Wear and Tear - En Espanol -  El desgaste normal

Before you move into a rented Home or Apartment, be sure to do a walk through with the owner or property manager. Why? Because when you move out , the landlord may attempt to charge you for "damages" to the unit. What defines damages is often contested and the tenant, unless they have a move-in-checklist

General rule of thumb - are you leaving the unit in the same condition as when you moved in? Again take pictures and have the landlord or property manager agree to the condition.

Normal Wear and Tear is vague term and means different things to different people. So protect yourself.

WHEN YOU MOVE IN OR MOVE OUT

Take  pictures - use a disposable or video camera. Pictures are worth a thousand words and therefore, dollars. Sign and date the pictures and save them in case your landlord does not return your security deposit.

The average cost to clean an average apartment is $135 for the full job.  If you do not have time, consider hiring a cleaning service.

Normal Wear and Tear may include things such as faded paint - you yourself did not cause the paint to fade, thus you would not be responsible if and when the landlord decides to repaint.

Damages are actual things in the apartment that you or your guests actually break - such as a window or a hole in the wall. 

One common method of calculating the deduction for replacement prorates the total cost of replacement so that the tenant pays only for the remaining useful life of the item that the tenant has damaged or destroyed. 
For example, suppose a tenant has damaged beyond repair an 8 old carpet that had a life expectancy of ten years, and that a replacement carpet of similar quality would cost $1,000.
Read more on CARPET DAMAGE
 

Normal: (Typical)

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Faded Paint. Paint may have a "useful life of 2-3 years, depending on who you ask. However, if you paint with a better paint, wiping down the walls works well.

Old, worn  carpet when you moved in or furniture marks in carpet. The natural wearing down of carpet or drapes because of normal use or aging. 

Worn hinges on doors or locks. Hole or ding in wall from missing door stop. Check each door.

Broken plumbing pipes, unless you damaged them. Central drain problems, not caused by your incorrect disposal of items. Older homes with old sewer lines may get roots growing through them, clogging the system.

Dirty Blinds - as in dusty.

General dust in the apartment. Be sure to clean behind the sofa and under.

"Faded" curtains that were in the unit when you came. However, to remove curtains that you placed and did not remove, you may be charged.

Bulb that went out in the refrigerator.

TYPICAL DAMAGES in RENTALS

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HOLES in wall from hanging pictures, removal of Decals on the walls. Larger gouges etc.

CARPETS: Tear in carpet, animal stains (even if landlord knew you had a pet). Burn marks - iron, cigar, cigarette, ground in stains. Read more on CARPET DAMAGE

 - Read more on RentLaw.com about PET DEPOSITS

DOORS with holes or windows broken. Off hinges or tracks. Glass etc.

CLOGGED DRAINS caused by misuse of sinks or toilets. Women tenants (college girls for example) may need to be reminded to dispose of feminine products in the trash, not the toilet.

BLINDS - CURTAINS If they were there when you moved in, they must be there when you leave. If you don't want them, discuss this with your landlord. If he says "I don't care" send him a letter to confirm...as we discussed. Otherwise, you will  be charged for missing or damaged blinds.

FLEA INFESTATIONS caused by tenant's animals or failure to keep the unit. The same for smoke damage from smoking or burning candles.

EXCESSIVE BATHROOM MILDEW. Use a good cleaning product like Tilex,  Spray 409 weekly.  Read the label and make sure it won't damage the finish in your particular bathroom.

REFRIGERATORS: Broken shelves in a refrigerator. Excessive dirt/dust in the refrigerator vents. This the area under or behind the unit. Vacuuming improves performance. Every time you vacuum, vacuum around the unit. Defrost the refrigerator if not frost-free

OVEN/STOVE: Excessive dirt or filth.  Stoves can take 2-3 hours to clean. Use Easy-off. That's why the named it that.



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