Normal Wear and Tear
Guam rental property owners are pretty reasonable during move out inspections, and accept normal wear and tear as part of the business of being a landlord, especially if the tenant has been in the property for several years. But, there will always be items that need fixing before the property can be rented out by the next tenant. So then, the question of normal wear and tear vs. damages and what you are responsible for may be a point of disagreement when the time comes.
Normal wear and tear is the gradual deterioration of a property during the course of daily use. For instance, matted carpet would be considered normal wear and tear, while burns or stains in the carpet would be considered damage. A worn out electrical switch is normal wear and tear, while a broken faceplate would be damage. If something was caused by some deliberate or accidental act by you, your guests, or your pets, it will probably be considered damage.
In the case of damaged items, you should only be responsible for reasonable repair costs, but what is “reasonable” is highly debatable. Most owners are easy to get a long with and are happy to work with a good tenant at the end of a lease. Others want to charge you for every little thing. So let’s prepare for the worst case scenario, and talk about a couple things that will help you best protect yourself and recover your full security deposit.
Detailed Move In Inspection
You should conduct an inspection a few days before your move in to note the condition and function of the residence and all appliances. Your agent, and the owner or their agent, should be present during the inspection. Since pictures tell a thousand words, photos should be taken of any deficient items as you find them. The inspection form should be signed by you, and the owner or their agent and copies provided to all.
Stay On Top of Maintenance Issues
Report problems as they occur. For example, a pipe that’s dripping and goes unreported could result in major damage due to mold and rot that you could be held responsible for. Noticing termites and not reporting it to the owner could cause similar problems. Report problems as soon as possible so they can be repaired as soon as possible.