What is considered to be normal wear and tear in a rental?

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What is considered to be normal wear and tear in a rental?

When renting, what is considered normal wear and tear? For example, I have lived in the same place for approximately 10 years and it still has the original paint and carpet. The paint is faded and looks bad. The carpet is worn looking now. Can I be charged for paint and carpet when I leave? The paint and carpet were fairly low quality to begin with.

Asked on August 4, 2010 under Real Estate Law, South Carolina

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Normal wear and tear doesn't have any precise definition.  It depends on the facts of the case and is basically the anticipated decline in the item's condition over time.  It is a very subjective determination.  A worn carpet and faded paint after ten years is normal wear and tear.  The primary concern is to distinguish normal wear and tear from destruction or damaging the item or the premises.  You should not be charged for a worn carpet and faded paint after ten years.  Landlords usually replace a worn carpet before re-renting and also paint the place. 


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