Washington State landlord tenant law says a tenant cannot be charged for any normal wear and tear that occurs to the rental property. Even if a tenant does damage to the property the cost of repair or replacement may need to be depreciated. For instance, HUD has indicated that interior paint in a rental property has a life expectancy of two years and carpeting has a life of six years. Based on this, if a tenant has been in the property for more than two years, routine painting would be considered normal wear and tear. If the carpeting was new at move in and after three years the carpeting had to be replaced again, the owner could charge the tenant for half the cost of replacement.
This area of rental management can be a challenge as a property owner may feel the tenant created damage while the tenant feels the damage was nothing more than normal wear and tear. As a result, professional property managers often become the referee. Owning investment properties has always been a great way to add wealth to your portfolio. Hiring a licensed and qualified property manager is a great way for you to add a little piece of mind.
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Nothing found herein should be construed as an attempt to offer or render a legal opinion or otherwise engage in the practice of law. You should obtain the advice of an attorney well versed in these matters.