Homes, like any other product, eventually depreciate. You can’t keep using it because eventually, the walls will get weak, the foundation will give way, and the structure will fall down. However, with proper care and maintenance, the structure can last for centuries. The effects of time will eventually show, so that’s to be expected. Fading paint, brittle doors and windows, and flaking carpet are all signs of a building in need of repair. The property loses value due to these issues. In addition, the property loses its lustre in the eyes of prospective tenants, resulting in a decline in revenue. There are, however, tried-and-true methods that can lessen the impact of this unpleasant process and keep your investment safe.
Wear & Tear vs Damage
Where do damage and wear & tear diverge?
Inevitably, things will break down and get worn out. It’s inevitable owing to the passage of time, the action of the wind or sunlight, etc. The tenants’ carelessness and misuse of the property caused the damage. The tenant’s security deposit may be used to cover the cost of repairing any damage. The security deposit should be adequate to cover any losses that may occur. However, landlords are on the hook for normal wear and tear. Since there is some ambiguity surrounding this concept, let’s examine it more closely and go over some concrete examples of wear and tear.
The average lifespan of a certain substance is a known statistic. Carpeting has a 5-year life expectancy assuming typical foot traffic and cleaning. Carpeting is also necessary for property management. Carpets may show signs of wear and tear throughout this time, such as a few rough spots. We expect this kind of wear and tear over time. However, the tenant is responsible for replacing the carpet if it is stained or damaged in any way, including by rips or holes. Hardwood flooring is expected to last for 25 years, therefore any damage to it before then is unacceptable. To a lesser extent, countertops also tend to last for some time. If your countertops have been chipped or scorched, the damage goes much beyond the scope of typical use.
If the security deposit is forfeited, what other fees are allowed to be deducted?
In most cases, the landlord is expected to clean the unit prior to a tenant moving out. But if they weren’t keeping up with the cleaning, there could be trouble. Cabinets and interiors that have become sticky, mirrors that have lipstick on them, mini-blinds that have disappeared, and toilets that have been clogged by diapers are all examples of damage that cannot be remedied by simple washing. Scents work in the same way. Excessive odor removal requires more than routine cleaning. Unless mould or some unavoidable issue is to blame for the smell, the tenant should pay for it. Furthermore, if the lease includes a provision permitting smoking indoors, the landlord cannot assess additional cleaning fees to account for cigarette smoke.
Do animals count?
It becomes a little difficult for the individual and property management company to manage the property of people who own pets. The majority of households have at least one pet. If pets aren’t welcome, the landlord could be turning away a large chunk of potential tenants. Therefore, it is a highly astute decision to rent to a tenant who has a pet. However, pets can be a source of noise pollution, carpet staining, and furniture chewing. When it comes to protecting against the costs involved with having a pet, a security deposit is your best bet. It ought to be substantial enough to cover any potential losses. However, it is not always easy to determine whether the tenant or the pet was responsible for the damage. That’s why it’s a good idea to make your home pet-friendly. Unless required by local ordinance, all carpeting and rugs must be removed. Don’t even think of buying any wooden furniture if you’re in the market for some new home furnishings.
Property managers now are able to tell the difference between damage and ordinary wear and tear. The security deposit is a legal mechanism for covering potential repair costs. However, if you care about keeping your stuff intact for as long as possible, that is not enough. Wear and tear minimization should be a consideration as well. There are many ways to get there. To start, when building or renovating, it’s important to choose the highest quality materials possible.
The most long-lasting options for flooring include vinyl, laminate, and engineered hardwood. Those components can be assembled without the use of adhesives or nails. In a nutshell, you can just click them together and lay them over your current floor. The underlayment may be installed for thermal or acoustic purposes. These materials are durable, comfortable, and impervious to water.
The lack of thorough cleaning is the most common issue in the kitchen. Dust, scents, and food waste all cause damage to the furniture. Kitchen upgrades that make cleanup quicker and simpler can help. Countertops made of plastic are preferable to those made of wood. It wears out gradually and can be cleaned easily. Protective gear against splashes is mandatory. Put them in the walls behind the stove and sink to keep water from ruining the drywall. To protect walls from water damage, use glossy paint or install tiles.
Maintaining a close eye on the plumbing system is essential. Leaks, damaged floors, tenants’ goods, and even neighbouring property can occur from neglecting this. As a result, you should replace old pipes right away and check them frequently.
It’s All Wood
Cabins, interior and external doors, and furniture made of wood all have their benefits. This stuff is extremely tough and simple to remodel. You need only sand it down and give it a new coat of paint. Simply painting something over can solve many problems.
The wear and tear on property management rental homes can be greatly increased if the renter does not maintain them with care. Some blemishes on your property can’t be considered damage and deducted. The tenant’s mentality is therefore the most important determinant of the rental’s continued viability. In order to attract and retain quality tenants, a smart landlord will do what it takes to make his or her tenants feel at home. When a tenant stops thinking of herself as a renter and starts thinking of themselves as a resident, that’s a big mental adjustment. Once someone moves into a rental, they begin to consider it their permanent residence. The landlord’s role is to foster this shift in attitude by being accessible and attentive, providing assurances, and making practical accommodations. As a result, renters will know they can count on their homes no matter what else is going on in their lives. Tenants in such a situation are less likely to incur costly repairs, and they are also more likely to remain in their homes for longer periods of time. Being a responsible landlord requires a variety of skills and traits.