The Rental Guide

Your personal guide on the rental market. Here you’ll find everything from guides, rules and regulations to interviews and news.


Understanding Normal Wear and Tear in Private Rentals

Renting out your property can be a lucrative venture, but it also entails responsibilities, particularly regarding wear and tear versus damage. One of the most common questions landlords ask is what constitutes normal wear and tear and what should be compensated by the tenant. To clarify this, it is important to understand the difference between normal wear and tear and damage caused by negligence or misuse.

Normal Wear and Tear

Normal wear and tear are changes in the property that occur naturally with use and are unavoidable even when the tenant takes good care of the premises. This includes minor scratches on the floor from furniture, light wear on carpets, and paint that fades over time. Some specific examples of normal wear and tear are:

  • Small holes in the walls: These can result from hanging pictures or shelves.
  • Light scratches on the floor: These may occur from moving furniture, such as a bed.
  • Minor wear on door handles and keys: Daily use naturally leads to some degree of wear.
  • Fading paint: Wall paint can fade over time due to exposure to light.

Damages to be Compensated by the Tenant

Damages that result from the tenant’s negligence, misuse, or deliberate actions must be compensated by the tenant. This also includes damages caused by household members or guests. Examples of such damages include:

  • Dents in the floor: These can indicate that furniture was moved carelessly or the floor was not protected during unusual activities.
  • Cracks in the walls: These can occur if pictures or shelves are not properly mounted or if objects have been thrown against surfaces.
  • Broken locks: This suggests that keys were not used or areas that should not be accessed according to the rental agreement have been used.
  • Drawing on walls or floors: This is a clear act of vandalism.

The Landlord’s Burden of Proof

According to rental laws, the burden of proof for damages lies with the landlord. This means the landlord must prove that the damages were caused by the tenant or their household members. To facilitate this, it is crucial to document the property’s condition thoroughly before and after the tenancy, using photographs and a detailed inspection report.

Samtrygg’s Safety Package

Samtrygg’s Safety Package is designed to make renting safer and easier for both landlords and tenants. For landlords, the safety package includes:

  • A clear rental agreement regarding responsibility for damages.
  • Documentation for both move-in and move-out inspections and key management.
  • A rental insurance policy that covers many exceptions not included in a standard home insurance policy when renting to a tenant, such as if a child draws on the wall with a pen.

Understanding the difference between normal wear and tear and damages that require compensation is crucial for both landlords and tenants. Normal wear and tear are inevitable and something the landlord must accept. Clear documentation and good communication between the parties are essential to avoid disputes. By being aware of these aspects, renting can be a fair and smooth process for both parties.