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Move-Out Tips #101: What is Tenant Responsibility vs. Normal Wear?

Move-Out Tips #101: What is Tenant Responsibility vs. Normal Wear?

Move-Out Tip #101 Paint: 

What is Tenant Responsibility vs. Normal Wear?

One of the biggest challenges between Residents and Property Managers is the impeding Move-Out Inspection.  TopFlight wants to make sure our outgoing Residents have a great experience with our company before moving on to new endeavors. In addition to the Move-out checklist that is provided to our Residents as part of their lease agreement when they sign on and provided to them again when they submit their notice to vacate, we are creating a series of Move-out tips of common dilemmas our Residents may face when they vacate.  The first in the series and our most frequent finds during the move-out inspection is Paint/Wall Damages.  We have compiled a list below of common causes to wall damage that are ultimately found to be tenant responsibility.  

#1 Command Strips

Command Strips advertise that by using these in place of nails it will not cause wall damage.  We have found that this is not always the case.  We are not sure if the strips were not removed as directed by the brand or if a lesser brand was used and this was the result.  Whatever the case, we warn that using command strips can cause more damage than a small nail hole and the result when it does is deemed tenant responsibility.  

#2 Tenant Permission Painting

In some cases, tenants will submit a request with a paint swatch to paint an area in their home.  If permission is granted, it will be sent in writing and a provision of the privilege to paint is that the Resident does a Professional Quality Paint Job.  Meaning there is not paint splatter on the ceiling, trim, baseboards or floors.  Additionally, there cannot be drip marks on the walls or areas where the previous color bleeds through.  When these issues are found due to a subpar paint job the outgoing resident will be held responsible to have the area repainted.

#3 Furniture Marks 

Often times when we move in and set up our new furniture, we don't realize that when we set up right up against the wall or too close to the wall it can cause damage that will be deemed tenant responsibility.  When you start moving your items out if you notice some furniture marks like pictured below that could be considered tenant damage. 

#4 Holes 

A common concern for Most Residents is can I hang personal items on the walls? Yes, you can as long as you use picture hanging nails, the size of a small tack, no screw holes, no anchors and the holes shouldn't be excessive. Additionally, no holes should be placed on any of the doors in the home.  Please see some examples below:

#5 More Holes 

Another type of hole where a Resident may be held accountable happens most commonly when moving furniture in and out of the home.  Here are some examples below:

#6 Spot Painting 

We allow our Residents the opportunity to correct the damage themselves and remove the charges.  However, in doing so we never allow spot painting, the wall must be painted corner to corner.  As you will see in the photo examples below even getting the paint matched it never truly does because you are putting fresh paint on older paint that has faded so it doesn't blend, and the result of spot painting is often worse than the original damage. So, if you are going to take advantage and paint, make sure it is corner to corner. 

#7 Crayon, Marker and More......

Kids will be Kids right? Well unfortunately as beautiful as the artwork is, it can cause our leaseholders $ on move-out.  In order to attempt to remove it without painting, we recommend never using Mr. Clean Erasers they can peel off layers of paint causing more damage instead we recommend a mild soap and water. 

#8 Light Strips 

The newest trend we are seeing are light strips as cool as they look when they are posted, they can be costly to a leaseholder when removed. 

#9 Wall Patching 

In the move-out instructions it states to remove nails from walls and patch any holes left behind.  Please remember when patching wall to use the right amount of spackling and smooth it out and sand it down properly, in addition when you do this you are still required to paint the wall corner to corner.  Failure to do so can result in additional costs to redo the improper wall repair.

Please keep in mind that TopFlight will allow you a small period of time to correct any tenant deficiencies yourself to lower your costs, however due to the law restrictions in place to close out your account the time we allot is limited to 24 hours, so if there is a chance you may be responsible for some areas, please allow yourself the time following your move-out inspection. If you would like to schedule a pre-moveout inspection for a small fee, please call our office and we will try our best to accommodate you. After all it is easier for everyone when our outgoing Residents have a successful move-out.