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Security Deposit : What is considered normal Wear and Tear?

System - Tuesday, November 22, 2011

No matter if you are dealing with property management in Southwest Florida or Sunny California,  the security deposit is the biggest question when the lease ends. 

The security deposit can only be used to fix and repair any damages caused by the tenant. Normal wear and tear is not able to be claimed by the owner. So what is normal ” Wear and Tear”? Here are some examples of normal wear and tear and what can affect the security deposit.

Normal Wear and Tear:
* Worn out or broken electrical switches

Normal Wear and Tear:
* Frayed or broken pull strings on blinds
* Faded drapes, blinds, or curtains
* Heat blistered blinds
* Sticky windows
Tenant Caused Damage:
* Broken drapery rods
 * Torn or missing blinds, curtains, or drapes
 * Blinds with bent slats
 * Torn or missing screens
 * Broken windows

Normal Wear and Tear:


[private_member]     * Plaster cracked from settling
* Faded, cracked, or chipped paint
* Peeling or loose wallpaper
Tenant Caused Damage:
    * Large holes in the walls from shelving or hanging pictures
 * Repainted walls to a significantly different color
 * Holes in walls
 * Unapproved paint job
 * Ripped or marked-up wallpaper

Normal Wear and Tear:
* Stain on ceiling from rain or plumbing
Tenant Caused Damage:
    * Stains on ceiling from overflowed bath tub

Normal Wear and Tear:
* Worn out keys
* Loose or stubborn door locks
* Loose door hinges or door handles
* Closet doors off track
Tenant Caused Damage:
    * Lost keys
 * Broken or missing locks
 * Damage to doors from forced entry
 * Damaged or missing doors

Normal Wear and Tear:
* Worn carpets
* Carpet seam unglued
* Scuffed up wood floors
* Linoleum worn thin
Tenant Caused Damage:
    * Torn, stained, or burnt carpeting
 * Badly scratched or gouged wood floors
 * Linoleum with tears or holes

Normal Wear and Tear:
* Worn countertops
Tenant Caused Damage:
* Burns or cuts in countertops

Normal Wear and Tear:
* Toilets run or wobble
* Loose or inoperable faucet handles
Tenant Caused Damage:
* Broken toilet seats or tank tops
 * Broken or missing faucet handles
 * Clogged drains from misuse

Tenant Caused Damage:
* Intentional alterations to the premises[/private_member]                                                      * Eliminating Flea infestations caused by animals. The same for smoke damage or burning candles.                                                                                                                                        * Excessive bathroom or appliance mold and mildew. 


These are just some examples. The most important thing to do to make sure that you get your security deposit or make the right claim on the security deposit is that the tenant and the Landlord to a walk through TOGETHER both at the beginning and at the end of the lease.  


For more information go to and get to know your rights as a Landlord and a Tenant.