What is considered normal wear and tear for 3 dogs on wood floors?

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What is considered normal wear and tear for 3 dogs on wood floors?

The landlord fully understood that we had dogs before moving in and we did pay a $300 pet deposit. We recently moved out of a house in Louisiana he landlord is now try to have us pay upwards of $1100 to refinish these floors due to our dogs. There is not excessive damage just what one would expect from the walking around of three dogs. This house is an older house with older floors, there was also no joint walkthrough done when we moved in or were their pictures taken prior to us moving in.

Asked on April 18, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Louisiana

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

There is no hard and fast rule for what would be considered normal wear and tear. However, it is important to bear in mind that "normal wear and tear" is typically judged by human occupancy by non-disabled adults, not by the standards of pets, or for that matter, young children or persons in wheelchairs or using other assistive devices which could cause damage to floors or walls. Notwithstanding the fact of the pet deposit, if you and you dogs caused more damage to the floors than would normally be expected by typical adult human occupants for that same length of occupancy, the landlord is most likely justified in seeking to recover the cost of repair or refinishing. (For future reference: trimming your dogs nails is probably a good idea when in a rental.) This does not mean that you cannot dispute either the fact of the damage or the cost to refinish, but you need to be aware that you are entitled to cause more damage than other tenants would be, simply because you had dogs or paid a pet deposit.


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