It’s part of the unavoidable ageing process of investment properties, yet wear and tear is often misunderstood and miscalculated by landlords and inexperienced property managers.
Many property managers have likely dealt with landlords who are disappointed to find their property has not remained in exactly the same condition as when their tenants first moved in.
In addition, landlords may be confused about what is covered by their landlord insurance policy. In general, landlord insurance should cover claims for tenant and other damage, however wear and tear is usually excluded. Landlords should check their insurance policies for the most accurate information on coverage levels.
Tenant damage is defined as being caused by a sudden and unexpected event, such as a broken window or a carpet stain caused by spilt red wine.
Wear and tear is damage which accumulates over time, regardless of who lives in a property. Timber flooring and carpets, for example, will deteriorate gradually as a result of daily foot traffic and will eventually need to be replaced. Curtains fade over time and walls end up with scuff marks and fingerprints and will eventually need re-painting.
As well as having an insurance policy covering tenant damage, it’s important for landlords to regularly set aside funds for maintenance and general upkeep that will cover the cost of wear and tear.
This should form part of the overall investment property strategy and will create a pool of funds to draw on when required to maintain a property to a high standard, which helps to attract good quality tenants.
Ref – Terri Scheer Landlord Insurance
If you would like more information please contact our Property Management Team