Normal Wear and Tear Vs. Actual Damage

Normal Wear and Tear Vs. Actual Damage

One of our goals as a top-rated property management company is to minimize costs for our residents. We’re often asked (by residents and  by property owners) about the difference between normal wear and tear and actual damage. To answer this question, let’s talk about the costs associated with things for both residents and owners. 

Normal wear and tear refers to the deterioration of a property that occurs as the result of frequent use. This is not a result of negligence, misuse, or carelessness by a resident, but rather the result of normal use of a unit, asset, or appliance. One of the defining features of normal wear and tear is that it generally occurs slowly, over time. 

Examples of normal wear and tear:

  • Slow draining shower from pipe buildup
  • Battery replacement for smoke detector/carbon monoxide alarm
  • Wear on carpet caused by furniture or normal use
  • Minor scratches on the hardwood flooring
  • Loose faucets
  • Loose grout or tiles on countertops 
  • Worn or loose door hinges 

Actual damage on the other hand typically occurs as the result of an incident — an accident or act of misuse. Residents will incur costs for the loss or harm to property caused by abuse, misuse, or neglect that results in a loss of value, usefulness, or destruction of the property. When this type of damage occurs, it’s the resident’s responsibility to restore property back to its original condition. 

Examples of property damage:

  • Water damage to hardwood flooring
  • Excessive dirt and bugs or fleas, as well as trash and junk left behind
  • Broken or damaged appliances
  • Missing or damaged blinds, broken windows and window screens, broken doors or locks
  • Pet urine, stains, burn marks in carpets
  • Broken tiles
  • Holes in walls

If you ever have questions about wear and tear, property damage, preventative maintenance, or anything else associated with our management of your property, we’re always here to help. Call 407-585-2721 or email

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