Interested in knowing what other owners consider to be normal wear and tear, and what would be eligible for charging to renter.
We just spent a week at our rental property conducting our semi-annual review of the condition of various things and making sure that overall we will meet the expectations of our guests. We had the usual notes from renters, some found the beds too hard, other too soft, some liked the cookware, others asked for particular pieces to be added, etc. We swapped out a lot of the linens to ensure nothing was stained, showed bleach marks or pilling, counted up the pillows (lost 4) and replaced all of the pillow covers to ensure cleanliness. Checked over the TVs and the DVD library and verified that the screen settings were optimal and that all batteries in TV remotes, lock boxes and fire alarms were new.
However, we found that the 6 month old Teflon cookware had deep scratches even though we have only wood or silicon coated cooking utensils. The kitchen countertops had knife marks, even though we have two built in butcher block cutting boards and provide several other large boards. It appeared that hot pans had been removed from the stove and placed directly on the counters - fortunately the marks were able to be polished out. Two of the dining room chairs looked like they had been used for a duel - broken support dowels and backs. Some DVDs were missing from their cases and oddly enough, books in our 'lending library' had broken spines and missing pages. Had to remove cracked and chipped dinner ware -- fortunately we use Corelle for one set, and have many replacement pieces for the 'antique' Franciscan ware dinner service. We have even had shelves and drawers in the refrigerator broken.
We have quality furnishings -- Ethan Allen, Stickley, Lane, etc. All of these are similar to what I have in my home and have withstood our large, frequent family gatherings for years. At home, I have things that look new even after 40 years of use -- but nothing seems to hold up in the rental. I can reconcile myself to replacing sheets, cookware and dishes, but I wonder when it comes to chairs and countertops.
At what point do I stop marking it 'normal wear and tear' and start charging the renter?