As Landlords in Maryland, we are required to allow for normal wear and tear; so when determining the appropriate with holdings from a past tenants’ security deposit it is important to make allowance for wear and tear.
To help explain normal wear and tear vs deductible damages below is a brief summary and table as to how we at Annapolis Property Services define the differences.
Wear and Tear
Normal wear and tear is deterioration that occurs based on normal activity of day to day life without negligence, carelessness, accident, or abuse of the property by the tenant or any guests of the tenant.
Damages are deterioration due to gross negligence, carelessness, abuse, or accident during the course of the lease term by either the tenant or their guests.
Most household items have a predetermined life span, so when replacing items, you need to account for normal wear and tear/depreciation.
For example; typically carpet will have a 10-year defined life span so it should be depreciated at 10% of the cost each year. If a carpet is damaged to the point of needing replacement and was installed 5 years prior, the tenant security deposit withholding amount can be 50% of the actual cost to replace with a similar quality carpet.
Below is a list that includes some examples of wear and tear vs damages.
|Wear and Tear||Damages|
|Small nail holes caused by hanging picture frames and other items on walls.||Large holes from anchors, screws, tv mount brackets or damage larger than a picture anchor nail|
|Slow draining drains||Drains clogged by hair, toys or other non-flushable objects|
|Worn countertops due to daily use||Burned, stained, cracked or damaged countertops|
|Faded, chipped, smudged paint||An unapproved or poor tenant paint job|
|Worn or heat blistered mini-blinds||Broken or bent slats, wands or missing wands|
|UV damaged screens or small holes from insect||Tears or rips|
|Hard water staining in fixtures||Excessive hard water staining in fixtures due to lack of water system upkeep|
|Worn paths and light fraying in the carpet (carpet has a lifespan of 10 years)||Excessive staining, Excessive odor, rips/tears in the carpet|
|Loose Toilet seat||Broken, missing, or damaged toilet seats|
|Loose faucet fixtures||Broken, missing, or damaged faucet fixtures|
|Dry Lawn||Long grass, overgrown bushes, excessive sticks/leaves, large bare spots not present at the time of move-in|
|Burned out light bulbs||Excessive bulbs being out, missing or broken bulbs|
|Light scratching beyond the initial condition of hardwood floors as noted in the move-in report||Scratched, gouged, warped, or stained hardwood floors|
|Non-functioning smoke/CO detector||Missing, detached, or visibly broken smoke/CO detector|
|Musty Odor||Urine or Pet odor throughout the unit|
|Bi-fold closet doors off track||Damaged or missing bi-fold closet doors|
|Broom clean property||Excessively dirty with no cleaning having been done|
|Mildew/natural staining on exterior of the property||Damage/holes made by the tenant to the exterior of property ex. satellite dish install|
|Nicks, dings, marks on appliances||Broken or missing pieces on appliances|