Discerning the difference between normal wear and tear versus actual damage is a difficult but important part of property management. Here’s how we handle it.

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How do you discern wear and tear versus damage in a rental property? Getting a property condition form filled out correctly is one of the biggest problems I face in my business.

The standard property condition form is four pages and it’s very extensive. We require tenants to fill out this form on their way in within the first 10 days of living in a unit. We then go back in on a 10-day walkthrough to remove your lock box and collect the property condition form. During that time, we walkthrough each item on the form that’s listed as damaged or not working properly.


If we commit to the repairs during the 10-day walkthrough, they’ll be repaired at the owner’s cost.

Wear and tear means things like scratches and scuff marks on the stairs, walls, and bathtub, dirty mirrors, and yellowing on the toilet. We have to determine whether it’s wear and tear from living in the unit or damage from negligence by the tenant. Our job is to make that determination for our owners upon move out.

We also do a six-month walkthrough to make sure the home is cared for, four months if the unit allows pets. We provide pictures of the walkthrough, guaranteed.

If you have any questions about assessing wear and tear or damage in a unit or you’re interested in our property management services, don’t hesitate to give us a call or send us an email. We’d be glad to speak with you further.