I'm currently in the process of purchasing my first rental property. As the property is currently occupied by tenants, I was wondering how typical landlords determine what is considered to be reasonable wear and tear in the premises.
Also, in the event there is damage to the premises that the current owner is not aware of, how do I know what the condition of the property was prior to the tenants moving in or if they are trying to recoup their security deposit by claiming that the damage was there prior to the tenants moving in?
I understand this is a hypothetical situation, but I could see this possibly coming up as the current tenants have a large puppy who may have caused damage in the premises without the current owner knowing.
I have have been in this situation many times buying tenant occupied units. Most the time when we take possession we do a new move in check list with tenants, note any problems and just have to take their word if the damage was there before. Hopefully the previous owners did a move in check list and provided you with it at closing but most ours never have one.
if original landlord does not have a move in checklist and inspection report, then you take one when you take ownership. you wont be able to charge for damages prior to your ownership. if there is a report, you can charge for damages (not wear and tear) but be careful if the report is incomplete or not thorough as there is a higher chance you could lose in court if it went that far
I would preform a walk-thru once you have the unit and photograph the place to establish a benchmark of the conditions.
Thanks for all the tips! The current owner completed one prior to the tenants moving in and was able to send it to me.
I would use the prior move in checklist for the baseline. Especially since you were provided it. I'm not going to overcharge for repairs, but again I'm not going to allow someone to damage my property and not bill them for it within the confines of the law.
And Congrats on your first rental property.