Wear & Tear Vs. Tenant Damage: A Complete Guide for Landlords!

Event: Live Webinar
Event Date: May 29, 2024
Presenter: Paul Flogstad
Event Time: 1:00 PM EST
Duration:60 Minutes


When a tenant vacates a rental property, it’s common to find some degree of wear and tear. While landlords can deduct the cost of repairs for damages beyond normal wear and tear from the security deposit, they cannot withhold funds for typical deterioration of the property due to time and use. Defining normal wear and tear can be challenging, as it encompasses the natural decline in a property’s condition over time. This deterioration is inevitable, even with careful tenants, and should not be deducted from the security deposit.

To prepare for these costs, landlords should budget for minor repairs, maintenance, and cleaning between tenants. Unlike normal wear and tear, tenant damage results from neglect, abuse, misuse, accidents, or unauthorized alterations. Landlords can hold tenants responsible for such damages, including those caused by guests. It’s crucial for landlords to understand the difference between normal wear and tear and tenant damage to handle security deposits and property maintenance correctly.

Session Highlights

  • What’s Considered Tenant Damage?
  • Normal Wear and Tear: Flooring
  • Normal Wear and Tear: Paint & Walls
  • Normal Wear and Tear: Appliances
  • Normal Wear and Tear: Plumbing & Fixtures
  • Handling the Security Deposit
  • Discussing Property Damage with Your Tenant
  • Steps to Take Before, During, and After Tenancy
  • What Happens if There’s a Security Deposit Dispute?
  • Taking Steps to Protect Your Property

Learning Objectives:

Discovering new damage in your rental property can be unsettling. This session aims to provide clarity on differentiating between normal wear and tear and tenant damage. If you’re struggling to classify a broken or worn item, consider whether it could result from continuous use or if it was due to neglect, abuse, or misuse. Additionally, accidents can occur, so it’s important to recognize that tenant damage is not always intentional.

Who Should Attend:

  • Property Manager
  • Property Owner
  • Housing Authorities Directors
  • Housing Authorities Staff
  • Community Manager
  • County Professionals
  • Maintenance Directors/Managers/Supervisors
  • Builders/Developers
  • Real-estate Agents
  • Realtors

Speaker Profile:

Paul has been involved in the real estate industry for the past 38 years. He has been involved in sales, construction, project management, appraisal, mortgage consulting and brokerage, property management, and property management consulting/training. Through his consulting company, Property Management Solutions, he provides training and consulting services nationwide to owners, management companies, multi-housing associations, as well as state and federal agencies.

He specializes in fair housing issues and has developed fair housing and outreach programs for governmental agencies as well as conducting seminars which are presented to property management companies, apartment associations, and the general public. For over twenty years was involved in the appraisal of residential, multi-family, farm, and commercial properties throughout the Midwest.

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*PPT for reference.
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