The Maryland security deposit law (located in the Landlord-Tenant Handbook at Appendix VI Maryland Security Deposit Law) provides very specific requirements for: The total amount of a security deposit (including a pet deposit, if any) cannot exceed two months’ rent. Ordinary Wear and Tear. Landlords and tenants are encouraged to work together when it comes to routine maintenance and upkeep of the rental property in use. The user enters the beginning and end dates of the tenancy and the amount of the security deposit. Damages by the tenant, tenant’s family, guests, agents, employees, or invitees in excess of ordinary wear and tear to the leased premises, common areas, major appliances, or furnishings owned by the landlord. Nor is it permissible for a landlord to use a security deposit to make improvements to enhance the value of the property or to prepare it for sale. A question frequently asked by both tenants and landlords is what constitutes normal wear and tear on a rental property. Absolutely nothing about the interior paint was beyond any reasonable person's idea of "normal wear and tear". In my opinion, the ruling merely frames the issue for the court. This is why it is important to have a solid lease agreement from the start where each party is undeniably certain of what their responsibilities are. If a tenant breaches the lease by vacating early, the tenant must write to the landlord and request the return of the security deposit plus interest in order to preserve the tenant’s rights under the security deposit law. A repair issue warranting a deduction is typically damage that was avoidable and negligent, and not due to simply living in or using the property. Just make sure that everything you fix (i.e. For example, the carpet can be expected to be slightly dingier after three years of residency compared to when it was brand new. A security deposit protects the landlord against damage beyond ordinary wear and tear caused by tenants, guests or invitees, pets, non-payment of rent and damages incurred by the landlord if the tenant breaches the lease. Ordinary wear and tear is deterioration that occurs without negligence, carelessness or abuse of the premises, equipment, furnishings or appliances by the tenant, a member of the household or other persons on the premises with the tenant’s consent. Rental Property Wear And Tear and Security Deposits. When agreeing to lease a rental property from you, the tenant is knowingly obligated to return said premises to you, their landlord, in substantially the same condition, as when the tenant originally moved in. If they are claiming they kept money for any other reason, add up the amount and put it aside. The receipt, which may be incorporated in the written lease agreement, must include the following information: Within 30 days of receipt of a security deposit, a landlord must place the security deposit in an interest-bearing account of a Maryland branch of a federally-insured financial institution. The frustrating thing is that different courts … Under this formula, you would first determine the useful life of the damaged item. For more information about maintaining a security deposit, see Landlord-Tenant Handbook. If a landlord fails to comply with these requirements, the landlord forfeits the right to withhold any portion of the security deposit plus interest. If, at the end of a tenancy, a landlord does not claim any damages to be assessed against the security deposit plus interest, the landlord must return the full security deposit plus interest within 45 days after the end of the tenancy. We often rely on this Montgomery County resource on normal wear and tear to guide us. For more information about the use of surety bonds and tenant’s rights regarding these bonds, see Landlord-Tenant Handbook and Security deposit law (located in the Landlord-Tenant Handbook at Appendix VI Maryland Security Deposit Law). I would say dirt on the baseboards is normal wear and tear - whereas a part of baseboard missing is not. As long as the tenant has not been proven to have been neglectful, abusive, or careless, damages to your rental property are not their responsibility. There is an informal formula for calculating normal wear and tear that many housing-related agencies use. For example, faded, cracked or chipped paint is ordinary wear and tear. In essence, a Landlord can expect that when a tenant leave a property, it should be returned back in it’s original condition, minus normal wear and tear. I would say the marks on the walls are normal wear and tear - whereas a hole in the wall is not. There are no statutes or court decisions that clearly define what “ordinary wear and tear” is, mostly due to these determinations being made on a case by case basis. Another important point is to have an understanding with your tenant as to what their routine maintenance responsibilities will be while renting your home. The term “normal wear and tear” is a vague one and can cause a lot of issues between you and your tenant if not spelled out clearly in the beginning of a lease agreement. This money is to remain in an escrow account at all times and is always considered your tenant’s money until a situation arises where you can legally access and use such funds. What does “ordinary or normal wear and tear” mean? The Google Translate Tool is displayed dynamically on Montgomery County web pages using a Google javascript function. It is important to remember that a security deposit is, This is where the main conflict occurs. Normal wear and tear means the declining condition of the rental premises that occurs over time, even though the tenant has been regularly cleaning and maintaining the premises. For example, a carpet worn thin due to normal traffic is ordinary wear and … The Calculator determines the amount of interest accrued, using the rates established by the State which have varied over time. We have not found another County in Maryland with a similar book so we have found this booklet to be helpful. However, preventing unnecessary disputes over your security deposit is a way to make the moving process easier. ... For vehicles model year 2004 until model year 2016 specific additional items that need replacement due to normal wear and tear are also covered. Your renters aren’t responsible for normal wear and tear on the property, but that’s where things get murky: What exactly is normal wear and tear? Damage to door or doorframe from forced entry. Of course, you may not disturb other tenants either. “ Normal wear and tear ” refer to minor issues that occur naturally as a result of the tenant using the property as it was designed to be used. For more information about requirements for returning the security deposit plus interest, see Landlord-Tenant Handbook. This gives you the opportunity to fix any issues that are your responsibility before the landlord charges you. Worn or loose hinges on doors or locks. Generally, surety bonds allow a tenant to pay a lesser amount than would be required for a security deposit; however, unlike a security deposit, a surety bond is not refundable. If, at the end of a tenancy, a landlord claims damages to be assessed against the security deposit and interest, the landlord must provide a written list of such damages and the actual costs incurred to repair any damages. Using newer and more dependable appliances not only decreases those risks, bur makes for a happier tenant all around. Contact BMG today for your free property management analysis. However, the Google function displays a drop-down menu form field (with no label) and a Google logo image which has no alt tag. Normal wear and tear is the expected decline in the condition of a property due to normal everyday use. If the tenant leaves the property in good shape with no damage in excess of ordinary wear and tear, the tenant will not receive a refund. Real Estate Investment Strategies – Is BRRRR the Next Big Thing? Wear and tear is the average deterioration of furniture, carpets and other features of a rental property due to regular use over time. A surety bond is a bond that a tenant can purchase to protect a landlord from damages to the rental premises in excess of ordinary wear and tear, lost rent, or damages due to breach of lease. CA code also prohibit landlords from charging tenants for normal ‘wear & tear’ in replacing items in the rental unit. The bond company will pursue the tenant for reimbursement of that debt. When you want to rent out your home, give Bay Property Management Group a call.   As your reliable Montgomery County property management company, you can be assured problems arising from the term “normal wear and tear” will be a thing of the past. Windows or doors broken. The security deposit is used to protect a landlord from financial loss at the end of a tenancy, due to non-payment of rent, damages due to breach of lease, or physical damage to the rental property in excess of ordinary wear and tear. Keeping older appliances in your rental home increases the risk that something may break and potentially damage your rental property. “… any payment of money, including payment of the last month’s rent in advance of the time it is due, given to a landlord by a tenant in order to protect the landlord against nonpayment of rent, damage due to breach of lease, or damage to the leased premises, common areas, major appliances, and furnishings,” in excess of ordinary wear and tear. Ordinary wear and tear is deterioration that occurs without negligence, carelessness or abuse of the premises, equipment, furnishings or appliances by the tenant, a member of the household or other persons on the premises with his/her consent. This can become very overwhelming especially if you own more than one rental property. Guide to Damages and Normal Wear and Tear - HousingSearchNW . Broken taps initiated by normal use; Worn out electric switches; Certainly, even the most careful tenant is likely to have these kinds of normal wear and tear. As soon as a maintenance issue arises that is your landlord’s responsibility,fix it sooner than later to prevent damage. Simple Answer - It's up to a Judge or Jury. The interest returned is based on an interest rate set by the state of Maryland; it is not the actual amount of interest the security deposit accrued in the bank. Normal wear and tear generally excludes a tenants’ or their guests’ negligence. Determining damages against the security deposit. It is the natural and expected depreciation of the condition of the property that occurs simply because someone is living there. Remember, your Montgomery County property management group is there to stay on top of all your routine maintenance needs for your rental properties so you can have the peace of mind that your home is taken care of. County Web Accessibility information including Alternative Format Requests for Disabled Users are provided on this page. Don’t let problems that can be fixed go from normal wear and tear to damage due to procrastination. Even after a tenant purchases a surety bond, the tenant is responsible for payment of: At the end of the tenancy, if a landlord charges the surety bond for damages by the tenant, the bond will pay the debt up to the ceiling established when it was purchased. The most common dispute over a tenant deposit is regarding #2 stated above, damages above and beyond normal wear and tear. Normal wear and tear is the physical deterioration that occurs with normal use. In landlord-tenant relationships, the difference between normal wear and tear and damages is a common area of dispute. The maximum amount that a landlord may collect for a security deposit. A landlord may not require a tenant to purchase a surety bond and does not have to accept a surety bond from a tenant. (Maryland Code, Real Property, Section 8-113) The remaining useful like expressed as a percentage. If your landlord has sent you a list of reasons see if the landlord claims 1. you didn't pay your rent and so they kept the deposit money to cover it, or 2. you injured the building beyond ordinary wear and tear. A lease provision that requires the tenant to "return the leased premises in good repair" at the end of the lease term does not require the tenant to build a new building or pay for a building that was destroyed without any fault or negligence on the part of the tenant. The written list and any remaining portion of the security deposit plus interest must be sent by first class mail to the tenant, at their last known address, within 45 days after the end of the tenancy. It is not permissible for a landlord to use the security deposit to restore a rental property to its condition at the beginning of the tenancy if damages are limited to ordinary wear and tear. By staying on top of small fixes ahead of time, there is less likely a chance for something to go wrong during your tenant’s lease, and less likely to be a conflict over who is responsible for fixing it in the end. Security deposits can cover the cost of damages that go beyond reasonable wear and tear, but what’s reasonable is subjective and laws defining damage are vague. This could include things such as changing batteries and lightbulbs, replacing filters, or having the pool cleaned on a regular basis. As an alternative to a security deposit, a tenant may choose to buy a surety bond at the beginning of a tenancy. This means your landlord cannot evict you without cause or otherwise disturb your right to live in peace and quiet. For example, having mild scratches on a kitchen work surface is probably normal wear and tear. Both parties of a rental agreement often have their own definitions of what “normal wear and tear” means, leaving much room for conflict at the end of a lease agreement. Do things such as clean the entire home, remove all personal items, sweep and vacuum floors (even consider having them professionally cleaned), replace all batteries and light bulbs. How a landlord must maintain the security deposit. Normal wear and tear in Colorado is defined as the deterioration which occurs, based on the use for which the rental unit is intended, without negligence, carelessness, accident, or abuse of the premises or equipment or chattels by the tenant or members of his household, or their invitees or guests. By avoiding such things in the first place there is less chance of a conflict occurring over who will pay for what damages. It is deterioration that occurs in the course of living in … Sign up for a newsletter or update your subscription preferences. Ordinary Wear and Tear. Yes, I know it … Many leases and some state laws specify that the tenant is responsible for paying to correct or repair damage, as opposed to normal wear and tear, and that deductions from the security deposit may be made by the landlord to address this issue. According to the Maryland State Code a security deposit is. Bills, Resolutions, ZTAs and SRAs & Legislative Updates, Department of Housing and Community Affairs. Here are some commonly accepted instances of normal wear and tear you might notice during your rental property’s move-out inspection: Worn flooring, whether carpet, tile, linoleum, or hardwood Faded or cracked paint Warping of doors and windows MINI of Montgomery County is open for sales, services, and parts. The required disclosures that must be in the security deposit receipt. When you prepare to leave a rental home it is expected that you leave the property in good, clean condition, minus normal wear and tear. When each party is aware of such responsibilities from the beginning, it is easier to determine who is responsible for what at the end of the lease agreement. The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development maintains on its website a Rental Security Deposit Calculator to aid in this process. It is your responsibility to maintain things such as electricity, hot/cold water, and plumbing to all of your rental homes. 10 Difficult Tenants That Strain the Landlord-Tenant Relationship, How to Choose the Right Bank for Your Rental Property Business, Holiday Safety and Security Tips for Landlords and Tenants, Property Management in Anne Arundel County, MD, Property Management in Carroll County, MD, Property Management in Chester County, PA, Property Management In Cumberland County, PA, Property Management in Harford County, MD, Property Management in Lancaster County, PA, Property Management In Montgomery County, PA, Property Management in Prince George's County, MD. A landlord may not charge a tenant for the deterioration of 1 San Diego County Apartment Association Form 200, Rental Agreement, Sections 12 and 15, page 3 of 8. So if it might normally cost $200 to clean the unit but you had to pay $400, maybe you could charge the $200 difference back to the tenant. Generally, “ordinary or normal wear and tear” is the unavoidable deterioration of a unit resulting from normal use by the tenant. This also includes drafting up a thorough lease agreement so each party knows exactly what is to be taken care of and when. Your rights as a tenant include the right to "quiet enjoyment," a legal term. Richard may choose to pay the landlord directly or the damage or … Large or substantial holes or dents in wall. Normal wear and tear is defined as moderate scuffs, marks, nicks, light stains or spotting. A statement that the landlord’s’ failure to comply with the security deposit law may result in the landlord’s being liable to the tenant for a penalty of up to three times the amount withheld plus reasonable attorney’s fees. Jun 6, 2011 Normal Wear and Tear. on Real Estate Investment Strategies – Is BRRRR the Next Big Thing? In order to minimize disagreements over the condition of your Montgomery County rental property at the end of a lease, let’s take a look at who is responsible for what in a rental property. It is important first to have a solid grasp on what exactly a security deposit is. However, we do not consider molds and mildews normal wear and tear if they have grown due to water damage caused by unfixed plumbing issues that were raised by the tenant. 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