What is Considered Fair in Wear and Tear of Rental Property?

Video Summary

What is considered fair in cleaning, and wear and tear under the Florida law, regarding rental property, and moving out? Well, this is a very subjective matter as to what is wear and tear, and how clean do you have to leave it?

A lot of times you're looking at leases, and they say that you have to leave it in the same condition as what it was whenever you first moved it. And as far as wear and tear is concerned, well then we need to look at what the condition of the property is.

If you could use foresight, if you're concerned about that when you move into property, I suggest that if you could archive the information by taking pictures of the property, particularly if there's any particular problems, or if it's particularly dirty or there's anything that's damaged, the condition of the carpeting.

Whenever you move out, a lot has to do with, how long have you been in there? If you've been in there seven or eight years, well there's going to be a lot more wear and tear. If you've only been in there one year, well what's the wear and tear over one year? It is a very subjective test, so what a landlord can try to impose upon your security deposit ... on a tenant's security deposit, is again, somewhat subjective. However, if it's wear and tear, they cannot do that if the cleaning is not ... what standard that is. You just can't leave debris in there, you need to leave it, as they say, broom clean. As far as carpeting's concerned, you'll need to probably clean them, but if the carpet's stained, or whatever, now you've got some problems and the landlord's been damaged, and can the carpet be salvaged. And if so, how much is the claim for the damaged carpet?

It's always good to have before and after pictures, whether you're the landlord, or the tenent, for that matter. If you could ask the landlord, or if it's a rental [inaudible 00:02:30], go ahead, and if the [inaudible 00:02:33] those [inaudible 00:02:34] of [inaudible 00:02:37], so we can take them ... have pictures of [inaudible 00:02:40] you move out [inaudible 00:02:40] and [inaudible 00:02:43] arises, and the judge is the one that would decide [inaudible 00:02:48] there's damage, or whether [inaudible 00:02:52] and tear. He gets a look at the before and after. So I think that that would be very telling. Although I'm giving this great advice to you, I don't think ... very rarely do I see that they ... or anyone, either the landlord or the tenent, has had the foresight to take pictures of the property before the tenent moved in, as far as that's concerned. Sometimes we do have some pictures of the status, or if it was relatively new house, or a completely ... just completely redone and had new carpeting, or whatever in the property. Well that's a tell-tale sign.

That is something, if you're concerned about this, and you've had problems with landlords in the past, you might, the next time you move in is go ahead and take the pictures of the property when you move in. Particularly if there's anything damaged, or the landlord says, "I'm going to take care of fixing something.", or the air conditioning is a problem with that. If you go ahead and take pictures of it, so when you move out, there's some question about it, well then you've got your pictures to say, "Well look, this is the condition it was in when I moved in."

Again, it's a very subjective test. If you have any questions, give me a call at 727-847-2288.