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Stop us if you’ve heard this one before. You show up for a rental viewing and meet the landlord at the door. They take you through the unit and, for the most part, you like what you see. That said, there are some deep scratches on the hardwood floor that are raising some red flags. They call it “fair wear and tear” while you see it as apartment damage.

Sound familiar? Don’t worry. This is a pretty common occurrence for renters and landlords. Everyone has their own definition of what constitutes fair wear and tear in a rental property. To some, it can mean minimal water damage in the bathroom mirror. For others, the term is reserved for yellowing carpets that are way past their prime.

We’ve decided to help take the guesswork out of the equation. To get to the bottom of things, we’re going to look into what fair wear and tear really means. That way, you’ll know what to look for at your next rental viewing.


What Does Rental Property Damage Look Like?


It’s not uncommon to have a tenant-landlord dispute over a rental property’s condition once the lease agreement is up. Whether it’s house damage or apartment damage, the landlord may have a case — but only if it checks off specific boxes.

There are certain aspects of a rental property that a tenant is responsible for. Let’s start with flooring. If carpets are heavily stained or hardwood floors have deep scratches all over them, that’s on the tenant. If there’s burnt kitchen countertops from that time you tried to impress your partner by making dinner, that’s on the tenant. If there are giant holes in the wall from the TV mount that you almost installed, that’s — well, you get the point.

A lot of it really comes down to common sense. If you’ve caused some serious, visible damage to a rental unit as the tenant, that generally qualifies as rental property damage. There’s also an x-factor to consider: pets. While they’re usually cute, cuddly, and often our best friends, they also know how to leave their mark on a rental property. Make sure you keep a close on your pet and the damage they may cause because you’re going to be responsible for it.


What Does “Fair Wear and Tear” Look Like?


We should preface this by saying everyone’s individual definition of “fair wear and tear” may differ, but there are some universal truths. In the most general terms, fair wear and tear is described as minor damage or wear that occurs over time by nature of regular use by the tenant.

So what does that actually look like? Well, fair wear and tear can be something like gently worn carpets or minor scratches and scuffs on the hardwood. It can mean things like slightly loose door handles or a small dent on the fridge. Little imperfections that generally aren’t overly visible upon first glance.

At the end of your lease agreement, your landlord will usually conduct a walkthrough of the rental property to ensure there isn’t any damage. In that case, you, as the tenant, cannot be penalized for any fair wear and tear. No landlord or property manager can charge you for door hinges being slightly looser than they were before you started your tenancy. Again, the common sense rule applies.

We can help manage your rental property so you don’t have to worry about fair wear and tear or property damage. Visit our site to find out how we can help run your rental property smoothly.


Please be advised the following with respect to Pemberton Holmes and COVID-19

Please be advised, while our current office hours remain 10 AM to 2 PM Monday through Friday, in anticipation of the start of April, our office will resume regular hours from 9 AM to 5PM beginning April 1st through the 8th in order to process rent payments. We encourage any tenants wishing to make payment without visiting our office to please reach out to your Property Manager to inquire about alternate arrangements.

Following the announcement made by the BC Ministry of Housing on March 25th, we are encouraging our tenants to pay rent in any way possible, using every avenue possible, that has been made available by the Federal and Provincial Governments.

The announced moratorium on evictions will only remain in effect while the province of British Columbia remains in a state of emergency, and cases will be assessed individually after that time.

It remains our intention to work with those who will face difficulties and financial hardships, and should you find yourself in that position, please reach out to discuss payment arrangements.

We anticipate more information will be presented in the time ahead and will update all residents with relevant news as it develops.

Any maintenance requests which are non emergent will be deferred until further notice. All inspections will be suspended until further notice.Safety is vitally important to all of our occupants.Please ensure you are making your every effort to adhere to the precautions outlined by the Ministry of Health.