Security deposits can be a source of contention between landlords and tenants. The amount of the deposit that is returned depends on knowing what is normal wear and tear. This is probably one of the hardest things to determine and explain. The normal wear and tear definition is the deterioration of the property that occurs during occupancy where the tenant cleans regularly and cares for the premises reasonably.

The security deposit definition is a sum of money that’s collected to protect the landlord in the event that something at the property is damaged or really dirty.

Security Deposit: What You Can Deduct for

Conduct a full walk through of the property, and take videos and photos prior to a tenant taking occupancy. It’s a great idea to do this with a third party vendor for the pre-inspection. We always give a copy of the move-in report to owners and tenants. Some of the things you can deduct for include:

  • Excessive holes in walls
  • Broken tiles or fixtures in the property
  • Plumbing backups
  • Repainting where a tenant has repainted from original colors
  • Tears, stains, burn marks in carpets
  • Missing or damaged blinds, broken windows and window screens, broken doors or locks
  • Broken or damaged appliances
  • Excessive dirt and bugs or fleas, as well as trash and junk left behind
  • Past due rent and any fees incurred by the association due to tenant conduct
  • Water damage to hardwoods, missing outlet covers, remotes for garages or gates, rekeying of locks if the tenants did not return keys
  • Unpaid utilities if they are part of lease agreement
  • Undoing tenant alterations

Security Deposit: What You Cannot Deduct For

These things are considered wear and tear, and should not be deducted:

  • Slab or plumbing leaks
  • Normal run wear on carpets (be especially careful about charging a tenant for the entire cost of carpets when the carpets are like 10 years old)
  • Picture or pen holes in walls
  • Painting or pressure washing the outside of your home unless there are oil stains from cars
  • Routine maintenance

Other things will always need to be addressed. For smooth property management in Orlando, FL, try to work with tenants when there’s a dispute, and come up with a resolution.

If you have any questions about tenant damage, wear and tear, or anything pertaining to Orlando property management, please contact us at Hampton & Hampton Management and Leasing in Orlando.