Tampa investment properties are bound to have the normal amount of wear and tear caused by age or simply by being occupied by tenants. Wear and tear issues are common and expected, and the property owner bears the responsibility for making repairs that are due to normal wear and tear issue. It’s part of maintaining your home, and you have to know how to define and identify it.
There’s often confusion about what “normal wear and tear” looks like in a rental home and how it differs from tenant damage.
Defining Normal Wear and Tear in Tampa Rental Homes
Naturally occurring deterioration happens to every rental property, regardless of who is living there. You may notice that the walls in your rental home have worn and chipped paint. Small holes will be noticeable from where tenants hung pictures or clocks. Some of the furniture may have scuffed floors and walls as well.
You could discover some staining or wear on the countertops and other surfaces. In the bathrooms, there will be chipped and aging caulk around toilets and tubs. These are not things you should expect your tenants to pay for. It’s evidence of normal wear and tear.
Carpets will be worn in high traffic areas and there might be some minor stains. If the carpet wasn’t brand new when your tenants moved in, the deterioration will be even more pronounced. If you have linoleum on your floors, that’s going to start peeling up in the corners and you may notice some discoloration.
Tampa Climate Affects Wear and Tear on Rental Homes
Tampa rental properties face unique wear and tear issues because of the climate on Florida’s Gulf Coast. There is high humidity and a lot of intense sunlight. This will usually fade your exterior paint and diminish your window treatments. Those musty and damp odors lingering in the home will make your air filters and vents work even harder, and your air conditioning unit is almost always running. Keeping climate controls in your property will reduce the wear and tear it incurs.
Documenting the Condition of Your Tampa Rental Property
Normal wear and tear can usually be separated from tenant damage by looking at your move-in inspection report and comparing it to your move-out inspection report. This is why your inspections are so critical.
Make sure you take pictures of everything, and if a tenant tries to dispute a charge for damage, you can provide the picture or the video that shows why you made the deduction. Usually, this resolves the issue. Make sure tenants sign off on the move-in inspection report, and if you do make any deductions to the security deposit, provide an itemized list of what they were. You need to cover all these bases or your tenants can take you to court.
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