Make sure your recordkeeping is meticulous if you decide to withhold all or part of a Security Deposit to repair damages left by a departing Tenant. Many Owners/Landlords/Managers itemizations include only sketchy details about claimed damages and the repair/replacement work that is needed or has been done.
You can deduct the cost of damages from a Security Deposit but not ordinary wear & tear. What is the difference? The general rule is that some deterioration is to be expected, but not physical damage.
Five Points to Itemize
#1 Item damaged. List each damaged fixture, piece of furniture, or appliance separately. A separate line for "dishwasher/stove or refrigerator" is much better than one line for "kitchen appliances."
#2 Location. Note the room in which the damaged item is located.
Walls? Floors? Windows? You should also specify the room when itemizing light bulbs, lighting fixtures, smoke detectors, etc.
#3 Kind of damage. Saying "damage"/substancial damage" is too vague. (also, "considerable/excessive damage"): Describe how an item was damaged: use descriptive terms: "chipped, scratched, stained, torn, cracked or burned."
#4 Repairs needed or completed. Briefly describe what you must do or have already done to fix the damage. Use descriptive terms:
"spackle, sand, paint, shampoo, steam, deodorize": Also, if you replace rather than repair, say so.
#5 Repair or replacement costs. Say how much it will cost: If you have already made the repair or replacement, list exactly what you spent and a detailed job description: presenting an Invoice or Receipt is the least contestable between you and your Tenant.
If you do not use a Move-Out cost schedule and you are sending out the itemizations before you have done the repairs or gotten an Invoice/receipt, you can estimate the cost as long as your estimate is "reasonable", based on the going rate for similar repairs or replacements. A Move-In Sheet in addition to photographs or camcording videos is suggested when your Tenant moves in or takes occupancy to determine the condition of the unit @ the inception of the tenancy.
Spackle and paint over nail holes in hallway.$ 50.00
Shampoo living room rug to remove pet urine stains$100.00
Source: Property Management Journal