Security Deposit and Normal Wear and Tear in Phoenix, Arizona

PRS Property Management has a wide range of experience servicing the Phoenix area including Tempe, Chandler, Ahwatukee, Mesa, Gilbert & Queen Creek.

Today we are discussing what the normal wear and tear allowance is for your tenancy. One of the more difficult tasks property managers have to perform is settling security deposit refund disputes with the tenants after they have moved out. Of primary concern is determining what should be charged to the tenant as damage and what should be considered normal wear and tear, resulting in no charge to the tenant.

The Arizona laws that govern the security deposit state that the term “normal wear and tear” generally describes the allowable amount of use of a rental without the tenant being financially responsible for repairs or maintenance. Let’s review a few helpful steps that will reduce or even avoid issues with the security deposit refund.

  • Prepare the property so it’s in good condition when the tenant moves in. Document that condition in writing and with digital photos.


  • When the tenant moves out, take into account the amount of time the tenant has been there. There is a big difference in normal wear and tear on a one year tenancy and a five year tenancy.


  • Normal wear and tear does not apply to heavy soiling, permanent carpet stains, wall holes or overgrown landscaping. Nor does it apply to negligence such as letting mildew collect on walls or failing to report a toilet leak that causes damage.


  • When the tenant has vacated and you are doing your inspection, take written notes and digital photos to document the difference in condition since the tenant first moved in.

Security Deposit and Normal Wear and TearWhen you pay attention to these things, the chances that your tenant will dispute the deductions you have taken from the security deposit are going to be a lot lower.

If you have any questions about how to determine what is normal wear and tear or you would like to hear more about our services, please contact us at PRS Property Management, and we’d be happy to talk with you.


One Response to “Security Deposit and Normal Wear and Tear in Phoenix, Arizona”

  1. Jeremy Tallman September 8, 2014 1:37 pm

    The topic of Security Deposits and wear and tear has a lot of gray area to it, and I am glad you addressed a lot of these issues. We try to decide how much to take out by going off of what the judge thinks and that puts us in the best position possible. Check out my post at and let me know what you think. Thanks