If you’re renting out a property in Oshawa or anywhere in Ontario, you know you’re responsible for the regular maintenance of the unit and the building. Unless your tenant causes damage, you will be the party responsible for repairing and replacing things like appliances, furnaces, and other functions and systems in your home.
A lot of rental property owners struggle to differentiate between normal wear and tear and property damage caused by the tenant.
Normal wear and tear or reasonable wear and tear is your responsibility, as the property owner. Damage, however, is something for which you can hold your tenants accountable.
How can you identify normal wear and tear?
Normal Wear and Tear in Oshawa Rental Properties
You should have a strongly worded lease agreement that requires your tenants to maintain a standard of care and cleanliness while they’re living in your unit. You can expect them to take care of minor maintenance issues such as light bulb changes. You can require that trash be kept under control so pests are not attracted to the home.
However, even with your tenants taking good care of the property, normal wear and tear has to be expected. Deterioration of the property is going to occur no matter who is living in the home.
Basically, normal wear and tear is what happens to a home naturally through common everyday use. At the end of a lease term, you can expect to find:
- Faded paint from direct sunlight
- Small nail holes in the wall from where pictures were hung
- Scrapes on a hardwood floor
- Slow faucet leaks
- Dents or scrapes in doorframes
- Carpet wear in high traffic areas
You will be responsible for paying to repair or replace the wear and tear items.
When Does it Become Damage in Oshawa Rental Homes?
Damage differs from reasonable wear and tear because it’s due to a tenant’s unexpected behavior. It could be abuse or neglect that leads to property damage. Perhaps a tenant’s child used a permanent marker to write on the walls. That’s damage. A floor with huge gashes from dragging furniture is also considered damage.
You can hold tenants financially responsible when damages have been caused to the rental unit. Make sure you have documented the damage completely. You’ll have to prove that the property is in worse condition at the end of the lease term than it was at the beginning and that the deterioration in value or condition is due to a tenant’s actions.
The tenant may claim that the damage is not their fault, but if they cannot prove that they did not cause the damage, landlords can apply to the Landlord and Tenant Board to hold them responsible for paying for damage. Documented damage can also be a cause for eviction.
This can be a difficult area for landlords to navigate, and if you want to make sure you’re not making an expensive mistake, reach out to an Oshawa property management company. You can contact us at Investor’s Choice Property Management. We provide property management in Oshawa, Whitby, Courtice, Bowmanville, Pickering, Ajax, and communities in the regions of Durham and Clarington.