Security deposit reconciliations seem to be a tedious task for many landlords. Every time a tenant leaves, you need to reconcile the condition of the property when they moved in to the condition of the property when they moved out.
Documenting Property Condition
Before your tenants move in, make sure you cover yourself with good inspection notes. You also want a lot of pictures that document the condition of the property. When tenants move out, you will expect the property to be in the same condition as it was when you handed it over to those tenants, except for normal wear and tear.
What is Wear and Tear in a Rental Property?
What is normal wear and tear?
Wear and tear might be a traffic pattern on the carpet where tenants walked up and down a hallway repeatedly. It might be the strings on your blinds that are fraying. That’s normal and will happen with time. Remember that everything in the property has a life expectancy. If it’s something that occurs due to normal use, you cannot charge the tenant.
Charging Security Deposits for Tenant Damage
You can charge the tenant’s deposit for any damage or repairs that can put the property back to its original condition. Cleaning, for example, is something you expect tenants to do. If the property was clean when they moved in, it needs to be clean when they move out. If they don’t clean it, you can make the property as clean as it was at move-in, and then charge the tenants for it.
Paint is often something we consider to be wear and tear. You could charge for large holes in the walls, but scuffs from furniture are normal. If you gave the tenants brand new carpet when they moved in and it’s stained, you can charge a depreciated price to replace the carpet.
Other damage like broken windows or missing keys and remotes should be charged from the tenant’s security deposit. If garbage was left behind, you can charge the tenants. Everything is based on the move-in condition report. When you give the tenant a clean, tidy house in good condition, you can expect to get that back. If you give them a dirty house, you won’t get a clean one back.
Please contact us at Windsor Pacific Property Management if you have any questions about security deposits, or if you need help with San Ramon property management. We serve San Ramon, Danville, Dublin, Pleasanton, and surrounding areas.