identifying wear and tear

Identifying Wear and Tear in a Rental Property

How to Identify Wear and Tear in a Rental Property

During a tenancy, wear and tear of common areas, furniture, and appliances is par for the course. But how can wear and tear, and damage (accidental or intentional), be identified?

Knowing the difference between wear and tear and damaged property can make the difference between losing or retaining a tenant’s deposit if your property has been damaged during a tenancy.

Identifying wear and tear is not always a straightforward task and so it’s important to know how to spot it when it does occur.

The main identifier with wear and tear is expected durability, in other words: How do you anticipate an appliance or some furniture should look like after a tenant has been renting your property for a year? Asking yourself questions like these is a good way to remain grounded and objective when reviewing the condition of a property during an inspection or after a tenancy.

It’s worth remembering that some damage may appear intentional but was likely sustained during normal and expected operation and so will be considered wear and tear.

HMOs also experience wear and tear at a much higher rate than standard single-let properties due to the increased amount of residents, as such when managing an HMO, expect to see wear and tear-related damages appear more frequently.

Another way to view this is to understand that the longer that a tenant remains in a property, the more wear and tear should be expected, it can be thought of as the gradual damage you would expect to see in a property over time.

Inventory Reports

Inventory reports have proven to be extremely useful when explaining and proving wear and tear vs. damage.

A landlord should obtain a detailed inventory report at the beginning of a tenancy, which exhaustively describes and captures the exact condition of every item in a rented property before a tenant moves in, this document should then be agreed upon and signed by both the landlord and the tenant.

Property management companies offer property inspections with detailed reports containing the condition of the property, which will identify any types of damage, from simple, expected damage, like worn carpets and superficial scuffs on the walls, to more apparent damage, like burn marks and stains on carpets or flooring.

Watch our video about inspection reports to see if you should use them.

The function of the inventory report is to serve as an indicator of the condition of the property and its contents on the day of check-in, vs. check-out, it can be used to explain and identify what damage should be expected and compare it to how much damage the property has sustained.

If you are interested in booking a property inspection, get in touch and schedule one with us today.

Property inspections - wear and tear

Watch our video about inspection reports, as part of the Landlord Academy series.

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