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Normal Wear & Tear Versus Tenant Damage
Nicole St. Aubin
Wear & Tear Versus Damage

Landlords and tenants alike have a lot of questions when it comes to what is defined as normal wear and tear versus tenant damage. Since there is not a clear cut answer to this, we rely on years of experience with Landlord Tenant attorneys and judges who set forth case law and guidelines to establish normal wear versus damage. Keep in mind, even when an item is tenant damage, the law requires items to be pro-rated to take into effect useful life and the time a tenant has remained in the property. Since this is a complex formula, we take each instance on a case by case basis; however, the following chart will help to demonstrate some basic differences between wear and tear and tenant damage when it comes to specific items in the home. 

Normal Wear & Tear                                        Versus                                              Tenant Damage 

Well-worn keys and locks/knobs                               vs.        Missing keys, damaged or pried locks

Sticky keys/locks                                                       vs.        Key broken off inside lock

Worn pattern/spot in counter tops                             vs.        Burn mark on counter tops

Rusty, scratched refrigerator shelf                             vs.        Missing/cracked/broken refrigerator shelf

Discolored, worn, or scuffed flooring                         vs.        Cracked/chipped tile, tears in vinyl, burn marks,
                                                                                                gouges, scratches from pets

Carpet seam unraveling                                            vs.        Stains, pet damage, burn marks on carpeting

Cracked paint at seams                                             vs.        Holes in walls, pet damage, crayon/marker on walls

Faded, blistered, sun-damaged blinds/drapes          vs.        Torn/ pet damage, dusty/dirty blinds or drapes

Window/vertical blinds won’t close properly              vs.        Missing turn stick, missing blinds

Faded, dirty or tears on window screens                  vs.        Bent window screen

Wobbly toilet                                                              vs.        Broken toilet tank lid, cracked toilet bowl

Rust stain under bathtub spout                                  vs.        Chip or crack in tub, dirt/scum build up

Loose, inoperable faucet                                           vs.        Missing/broken faucet handle

Bathroom mirror starting to ‘de-silver’                       vs.         Mirror cracked, caked with residue, missing mirror

Mildew in shower due to lack of ventilation              vs.         Mildew due to lack of cleaning or running fan being installed or no window                                                                               ventilation fan

The Realty Masters of FL Team

#1 in Pensacola Property Management and Leasing! 
Rental Office 4400 Bayou Blvd. #58B, Pensacola, FL 32503  (850) 473-3983 www.PensacolaRealtyMasters.com
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originally posted 04-16-2019

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