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Wear and Tear vs. Damages

Wear and Tear vs Damages



Have you ever wondered how normal wear and tear is determined in a rental home?

In Texas, a landlord cannot deduct for normal wear and tear from a security deposit and in some situations, such as for carpet and paint, a depreciation schedule must be followed.

Although this is not a compressive list, below are examples of what items are considered normal wear and tear and are typically the responsibility of the investment property owner compared to what items are considered damages by tenants.

Wear and Tear


Peeling, cracked, or chipped paint*
Drawing or excessive hand prints on walls
Paint faded or furniture rub marks*
Stains on walls
Picture hook/nail holes
Excessive nail holes “shrine” effect
Peeling wallpaper
Torn wallpaper
Worn enamel in bath fixtures
Chipped, broken, or cigarette burns on enamel
Worn or cracked vinyl flooring
Torn or gouge marks from moving appliances
Heavily trafficked carpet flooring*
Severe stains, burns, or torn carpet
Weathered or worn window screens
Holes, broken or missing screens
Sliding doors off track or stick
Missing knobs, tracks dirty or broken doors
Counter tops worn or scratched
Cigarette burn marks, chips or missing pieces
Towels bars, tissue holders loose
Towel bars, tissue holders missing or damaged
Caulking around plumbing fixtures
Excessive mold or mildew on caulked areas
Light fixtures/fans off balance
Light fixture globes or parts missing
Septic field lines
Non-flushable products being disposed of
Smoke detector batteries
Removal, low or missing batteries in detectors
HVAC maintenance and servicing
Neglect of HVAC filter replacement
Door stops
Broken, missing door stops-holes in walls
Discolored window blinds
Broken or missing slats in mini blinds
Heating elements or oven racks
Dirty or missing drip pans
Worn parts or servicing of refrigerator
Missing racks, broken shelving, filth, odors



 * Repainting due to tenant damage is calculated on a depreciation schedule
*Carpet replacement due to tenant damage can only be calculated on replacement cost less depreciation.


Click here to learn how we handle repairs




Landlords are required to install security devices in rental properties

Landlords are required to install security devices in rental properties

Texas law requires that most rental properties have certain security devices in place on the windows and exterior doors while a tenant is occupying the property under a lease.

Make sure that …

  • Each exterior window has a window latch;
  • Each exterior sliding glass door has a pin lock, and a handle latch or security bar; and
  • Each exterior door-including a door between a living area and a garage, but not a sliding glass door or screen door-has three things:
    • a doorknob lock or keyed deadbolt;
    • a keyless bolting device; and
    • a door viewer.

These devices must be installed at your expense before you have a tenant.


The best resource for pricing your home

The best resource for pricing your home

You’re ready to sell your home, but you’re not sure what to ask for it. No problem … a neighbor just sold her home for $329,000, so you’ll just ask for the same amount. Wait. That was what she asked for her home. You’re not sure what it actually sold for. Oh, hey! Didn’t your coworker sell his home for $275,000 a few months ago? That’s solid information. Maybe you should ask for that. If the market hasn’t changed much since then. Sure, the coworker’s house isn’t in your neighborhood, but it has the same number of bedrooms and bathrooms as your home. Or maybe you should go with the asking price to the neighbor’s house. She probably sold it for close to that number. The house isn’t as nice as yours, but it’s a little larger. And it has beautiful landscaping. That adds some value, but how much? Putting those two homes aside for a bit, you go to a website that promises to tell you what your home is really worth. An actual number. Now you’re getting somewhere … if the value isn’t off by the 20% margin of error you read about in the site’s disclaimer. If only there was a way to process all this … pull in more data … make sure it’s accurate … account for differences in the properties … factor in what’s going on with real estate prices in your neighborhood. If you could just find some to do all that, analyze it, and guide you toward the highest price that will actually get an offer. Sounds to me like you’re ready to work with a Texas REALTOR®. –

See more at:

Sellers, here’s what buyers really think about your home

Sellers, here’s what buyers really think about your home

Have you ever wondered what a potential homebuyer thinks when she visits your house? Here are a few questions that came to my mind when I was searching for my first home. What’s that smell? I never realized how sensitive I am to smells until I saw eight houses in one day. The pet smells, air fresheners, mildew, and fresh-paint odors left me with a pounding headache. Some people love the smell of cinnamon apples and others might not, but get some help from your Texas REALTOR® to figure out a way to create a more neutral smelling experience. That might mean opening a few windows before a showing or temporarily moving the litter box. Will that dog bite us? As a pet owner, I know I can’t always take my dog or cat with me wherever I go. If you can take your pets with you when a buyer comes for a viewing, though, it can make for a much better home-tour experience. Why? Some people might be afraid of your pet. Other times, your pet can be a distraction. It’s hard to concentrate when a barking dog accompanies you on your property tour. Where would I put my stuff? It’s true what they say: buyers have a hard time looking past excessive clutter. When that spacious closet you’re trying to sell  is packed full, I can’t tell how spacious it truly is. And navigating through your kids’ toy maze is just as annoying for me as it is for you. It’s hard to please every potential homebuyer who will walk through your door, but there are a few simple ways to make your home a little more inviting so your house isn’t known as “the one with the cat smell” or “the one with the toy booby trap.” Talk to your Texas REALTOR® and be open to his advice about preparing your home for sale. He’ll know what attracts homebuyers to a property, and he’s on your side to get it sold. – See more at:

Credit Score Requirements LOWER As Interest Rates CREEP UP!

Credit Score Requirements LOWER As Interest Rates CREEP UP! [INFOGRAPHIC] | Simplifying The Market

Some Highlights:

  • The average 30-year rate for all loans closed in August eclipsed 4.3% for the first time since October 2014.
  • The average FICO score for all closed loans in August reached a new yearly low at 724 (the lowest since February 2014!)
  • The average down payment of FHA loans closed was just 4%!

Three Graphs that Scream to List Your House

3 Graphs That Scream List Your House Today! | Simplifying The Market

3 Graphs That Scream List Your House Today!

In school we all learned the Theory of Supply and Demand. When the demand for an item is greater than the supply of that item, the price will surely rise.


The National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently reported that the inventory of homes for sale stands at a 4.8-month supply. This is significantly lower than the 6 months inventory necessary for a normal market.

Inventory | Simplifying The Market


Every month NAR reports on the amount of buyers that are actually out in the market looking for homes, or foot traffic. As seen in the graph below, buyer demand this year has significantly surpassed the levels reached in 2014.

Foot Traffic | Simplifying The Market

Many buyers are being confronted with a very competitive market in which they must compete with other buyers for their dream home (if they even are able to find a home they wish to purchase). 

Listing your house for sale now will allow you to capitalize on the shortage of homes for sale in the market, which will translate into a better pricing situation.


Many homeowners underestimate the amount of equity they currently have in their home. According to a recent Fannie Mae study, 37% of homeowners believe that they have more than 20% equity in their home. In reality 69% of homeowners actually do!

Equity | Simplifying The Market

Many homeowners who are undervaluing their home equity may feel trapped in their current home, which may be contributing to the lack of inventory in the market.

Bottom Line

If you are debating selling your home this year, let’s get together to evaluate the equity you have in your home and the opportunities available in our market.

Replace the carpet?

Does a landlord have to replace the carpet?

Question: The tenant for a property I manage has asked the landlord to replace the carpet in one room because she says it looks worn and needs repair. Does the landlord have to fulfill this request?

Answer: No. Neither the Texas Property Code nor the Texas Association of REALTORS® Residential Lease would require a landlord to replace or repair something like this.

While Paragraph 18D(1) of the TAR Residential Lease states that the “landlord will pay to repair or remedy conditions in the property in need of repair if the tenant complies with the procedures for requesting repairs,” this does not mean that the landlord has the obligation to make every requested repair. Paragraph 18D(2) of the TAR Residential Lease states that a landlord will not pay to repair “items that are cosmetic in nature with no impact on the functionality or use of the item,” and a landlord could argue that worn carpet falls under this category. Additionally, Paragraph 18C(1) the TAR Residential Leasestates that all decisions regarding repair will be at the landlord’s sole discretion.

For more information on how Leasing Texas handles repairs, click here


Texas Entry Lock Requirements

Are you as confused about the Texas Property Code lock requirements as most people? When you rent your home, in most cases, you are required to install specific locking devices on doors and windows. We have put together a detailed explanation of the requirements here.

Please let one of the members of the Leasing Texas team know if you have any questions about locks on a rental home.

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