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• Clean refrigerator, shelves and freezer. Unplug and pull the refrigerator out away from the wall with doors open. Clean behind and underneath refrigerator. After cleaning, re-plug and leave running.

• Clean exterior cupboards, under sink, and baseboards.

• Clean oven making sure to remove all traces of oven cleaner. Clean under burners, controls, rings, drip pans and stove top. Wipe down front and sides of range. Clean exhaust fan so it is grease-free.

• Scour sinks removing all stains. Disposal should be clean and in working order.

• Clean dishwasher making sure there are no food particles left in bottom.

• Sweep and mop kitchen floor.


Living Room:

• Windows washed inside and out including tracks and runners.

• Baseboards, light switches and walls cleaned free of finger marks.

• Carpets vacuumed and free of stains.



• Same as living room.

• Closets vacuumed and shelves cleaned.



• Toilet bowl mush be scoured and disinfected. The outside of the bowl including seat, rim, tank and base must be cleaned and disinfected.

• Bath tub and sides must be scoured to remove any rings and soap build up.

• Sink must be scoured. Wipe down counter top, faucet, and mirror.

• All cabinets and drawers must be wiped clean. Exterior of cabinets should be dusted and cleaned.

• Sweep and mop floor


Storage areas, patios, carports:

• Patios, storage areas, and carports should be empty, clean, and when possible, swept.

Frequently Asked Questions (regarding security deposit deductions):


What is ordinary wear & tear?

The typical definition of wear and tear is “the deterioration which occurs based upon the use of which the rental unit is intended and without negligence, carelessness, accident, misuse, or abuse of the premises or contents by the tenant or members of the household, or guests.” In other words, ordinary wear and tear is the natural and gradual deterioration of the apartment over time which results from a tenant’s normal use of the apartment. For example, the carpeting in an apartment, or even the paint on the walls, wears out in the normal course of living. Carpets become threadbare and paint peels and cracks in time. Even the most responsible tenant can’t prevent the aging process.


Negligence: If a tenant does something carelessly that the tenant should have known would cause damage, or if the tenant failed to do something that they reasonably should have done to prevent damage, that’s negligence. In other words, did the tenant act prudently to preserve the property? Failure to warn: Another form of negligence is when a tenant fails to take steps that could prevent damage to the apartment. Even the reasonable wear and tear exception wouldn’t insulate a tenant from the responsibility if the tenant fails to let management know when something goes wrong in the apartment the might later result in worse damages. For example, if a window pane is cracked because of a faulty foundation, that’s not the tenant’s fault. But if the tenant doesn’t tell the management that the crack is letting in water and the carpet below the window suffers water damage, management may be able to argue that this extra damage was caused by the tenant’s failure to inform management of the problem.


Abuse/misuse: If the tenant knowingly or deliberately mistreats the property or uses it for the wrong purpose, the damage the tenant causes is not ordinary wear and tear, it’s abuse or misuse. For example, did the tenant slide furniture over an unprotected floor causing gauges? Or did the tenant discolor the bathtub by using it to dye fabrics? Was the tenant an artist who failed to cover the floor and the tenant painted, leaving permanent stains on the carpet? Did the tenant paint the walls of the apartment black?


Accident: Sometimes damage occurs by mistake. The tenant party guest drops a drink on the new carpet, staining it. The tenant drops a heavy planter and cracks the tile floor. Or the tenant is cleaning a light and the fixture falls and breaks. Or the tenant accidentally leaves the tub faucet on, flooding the apartment, staining wood floors and carpeting. Even though the tenant didn’t purposely damage the property, management would be able to charge the resident.


Other factors: In evaluating whether apartment damages exceed normal wear and tear, there are some other factors to keep in mind. They include: extent of damage; The exact type of damage may be as important as the extent of the damage when evaluating whether it’s ordinary or not. For example, two or three nail holes in a wall would be considered ordinary wear and tear but dozens of nail holes may be considered abuse. A few light scratches on a wood floor would be ordinary but a missing wood plank is negligence or abuse. Length of residency; the ordinary wear and tear of a tenant who has lived there a short period would be considerably less than that of a tenant who has lived there for a longer period. For example new carpet was put down before a tenant moved in. It would be reasonable to expect that if a tenant lives there 10 years before moving out, everyday usage would leave it somewhat damaged. But if a tenant moves out after only 1 year and the carpet is ripped and stained, that would be unreasonable, and management would probably charge the tenant for the damage. Character and construction of building; an older building may be expected to undergo greater and more rapid deterioration than a newer building. For example, wooden window sills in an older building may dry out, rot, or crack over time through no fault of the tenant. But if the building is new, it would be unlikely that the windowsills would crack without some carelessness on the tenant’s part (standing on the windowsill to hang drapes.)

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