Washington state 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 says that interior paint in a rental 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. However, if walls need to be primed before painting because the tenant heavily marked the walls or if there are holes in the walls needing repair, those preparations would be damage and a tenant expense.
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