Understanding Normal Wear & Tear

What is Considered Normal Wear and Tear?


Normal wear and tear is the expected depreciation that occurs with a rental home and tenant living in the home. Wear and tear is not considered to be property damage as a result of either neglect, abuse carelessness or accidents.

Wear and tear expenses typically fall on the Landlord to fix. In Texas, Section 92.104 of the Texas Property Code, you can find the specific outline of what all a Landlord may deduct from a security deposit:

"Normal wear and tear" means deterioration that results from the intended use of a dwelling, including, for the purposes of Subchapters B and D, breakage or malfunction due to age or deteriorated condition, but the term does not include deterioration that results from negligence, carelessness, accident, or abuse of the premises, equipment, or chattels by the tenant, by a member of the tenant's household, or by a guest or invitee of the tenant.

Main Examples of Normal Wear & Tear Vs. Property Damage Most Disputed


If a carpet is 10 years old and worn, the Landlord is likely responsible for replacing it. On the flip side, if the tenant moves into a home with brand-new carpet and only lives there a year or two, the carpet should still look pretty good upon the tenant moving out. Stains and tears will be deducted from the security deposit.


Fading paint is a result of wear and tear, as are holes from pictures that were hung up and/or smudges on walls and baseboards are likely the result of wear and tear. However, major holes in the sheetrock or long lines of drawing such as from crayons are not wear and tear.


Light scratches and stains and small water marks are likely wear and tear, as is laminate separating. Chipped countertops, burnt spots or multiple stains and knife cuts are not typical wear and tear.


Panes with light scratches and worn parts, or faded parts and warped windows are the result of normal wear and tear. Ripped or bent screens, broken or cracked pains and broken window parts are not usual wear and tear.


Fading, scuffs and dark patches are likely the result of normal foot traffic and wear. However, deep scratches or missing pieces and chipped flooring or water stains are not the result of wear and tear.


Moderately dirty blinds or curtains is normal, but missing pieces of blinds and ripped curtains are not.

Final Thoughts

Normal wear and tear is usually the result of sun fading, natural forces and time, and can include worn carpets, slightly watermarked countertops and smudges on the wall. Damage occurs when a tenant leaves holes in walls, obvious stains, or pet urine on carpet. Then, the tenant is responsible for those items, which can be deducted from the security deposit.

Be sure to check the move-in and move-out paperwork thoroughly. Pictures are ideal.  If you need to deduct damages, be sure to mail the photos of the damage to the tenant, along with an itemized list of what is being deducted from the security deposit. Also, be sure to keep up with regular maintenance or tenants might claim your own negligence resulted in the damage.

If you are still unsure about what constitutes wear and tear from damage to the home, you might consider hiring a Property Management Company who are experts in these matters and know exactly what can and cannot be deducted and the proper procedures for deducting damage from tenants’ security deposits.

At M&D Property Management Group, we have decades of experience in managing rental properties and are experts when it comes to gauging what needs to be fixed by the Landlord vs. what is the Tenant’s responsibility. At M&D, we charge average property management fees for 5-star property management services.

Give us a call today at (972) 772-6025 to learn more.

M&D Logo Top Real Estate Agents and Property Management in Rockwall Forney and Dallas Fort Worth

Sign up for the latest news, updates and properties.

Leave your details, select your interest(s), and we’ll get you more information on how we can help.