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Wear and Tear or Damage?

At the termination of a lease, a good property manager does a thorough review of the property.  During this property review, the manager is reviewing areas of the home to determine its condition and to see if any damage has occurred.  So, as the review transpires, how does a property manager determine wear and tear vs. damage?

This is a common question we hear from our investment owners.  Being investment owners ourselves, we ask the same questions of our properties.

From our experience, here are a few items that we typically receive questions about:

  • Carpet – Faded or worn thin is considered wear and tear.  Stains, tears or holes would be considered damage.
  • Walls – Nail or pin holes are considered wear and tear.  Any hole larger than a nail hole would be considered damage.
  • Hardwood Floors – Light scratches and fading of varnish are considered wear and tear.  Deep scratches that penetrate the wood or heavy varnish removal would be considered damage
  • Doors – Squeaking or sticking is considered wear and tear.  Door no longer on hinges or missing handle would be considered damage.
  • Landscape (if tenant responsible) – Presence of weeds, thinning grass, trees needing trimming are considered wear and tear.  Dead grass or dead plants due to lack of watering would be considered damage.

Some other factors come into play with the above examples.  The length of tenancy is one of the major considerations that must be weighed when determining wear and tear vs. damage.  Other items like the number of occupants and condition of the property upon initial delivery come into play, too.

Hiring a competent property manager will be one of your greatest assets when it comes to the care of your property.   At Real Property Management of the Rockies, we are in and out of our properties on a quarterly basis looking for items that are being neglected.  This allows us to address the issue with tenants prior to it becoming a damage issue.  Also, we tailor our leases in a way that tenants are fully aware of our expectations when it comes to property care.

If you are in need of property management services in Northern Colorado including Fort Collins, Loveland, Timnath, Windsor, Wellington, Berthoud, or the surrounding area, we would be honored to become your trusted property management company.  Please contact us with any questions about wear and tear or how we can tailor a lease that deals with the uniqueness of your property.  We look forward to speaking to you.

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