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Normal Wear and Tear vs Tenant Damage

Virginia lease allows for normal wear and tear, and these damages may not be deducted from the security deposit. The costs an Owner incurs for the basic repairs to make a unit ready for occupancy by the next tenant are part of the costs of doing business.

The following is a list of items typically attributable to routine use or “normal wear and tear”:

  • Faded, scuffed, or cracked paint
  • Slightly torn or faded wallpaper
  • Nail holes or small cracks in wall
  • Doors or windows sticking
  • Loose door or cabinet knobs
  • Minor scuffing or scratches on the floors
  • Carpet faded or worn thin from walking
  • Loose grout or hairline cracks on tiles
  • Worn or small scratches in bathtubs, sinks, or toilets
  • Rusty shower rod
  • Dirty or faded lamp or window shades

Tenant damages usually require more extensive repair, and at greater cost than “normal wear and tear”, and are often the result of a tenant’s abuse or negligence that is above and beyond normal wear and tear.

  • Gaping holes in walls or plaster
  • Drawings or markings on wall or wallpaper
  • Damaged or ruined wallpaper
  • Chipped or gouged wood floors
  • Doors removed or ripped off hinges
  • Broken windows or doors
  • Missing fixtures
  • Holes in ceiling from removed fixtures
  • Holes, stains, or burns in carpet
  • Missing or cracked tiles
  • Chipped and broken enamel in bathtubs and sinks
  • Clogged or damaged toilet or drain from improper use
  • Missing or bent shower rods
  • Torn, stained, or missing lamp and window shades

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