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Depreciated Value Questions on JustAnswer

In real estate, depreciation refers to the loss in value of an asset or a building over a period of time due to a number of reasons like wear and tear, age, and physical deterioration. In real estate, depreciation applies only to the building as land does not wear itself out over the years. The depreciation value of a building also differs between residential income and commercial income properties.

Listed below are a few questions answered by lawyers on depreciated value related questions.

My current house has depreciated in value. I have the opportunity to buy a second home but can’t afford both mortgages. Assuming I default on my first home mortgage and it goes into foreclosure, can this affect my second home once I have title to it?

In the event that you default on your first mortgage, the bank may come after the equity in your second home since you still owe the bank money. That’s why it’s best to tread carefully and avoid foreclosure.

If a 10-year-old door has to be replaced, is the tenant responsible for paying the depreciated value of the door or its current value?

If the door has been damaged by the tenant, he would need to pay the cost of a new door times the percentage of useful life remaining in the door. This would depend on the materials used in making the door and its exposure to the elements. For example, a protected metal door would last longer than an exposed wooden door. In the event that the door was not damaged by the tenant, he would not be obliged to pay for it at all.

My tenants have an unauthorized pet that has damaged the carpeting and woodwork. Their security deposit won’t cover the depreciated value of carpet replacement plus the other damages. How can I claim compensation for this?

One of the best ways to make sure that you are well compensated for the damages is to ensure you are there with the tenants for a final walk-through of the property. You can then film all damages done to the property and let the tenants know if the damages amount to more than the security deposit, you are going to pursue them via small claims for the money that is owed.

Once you have gone through the property properly and listed all damages, ensure that you make a formal written, itemized estimate of all the costs. Send a copy of this to the tenants with a request to compensate you for the costs. You would need to do this within two weeks of their moving out so there is no room for arguing that you withheld damages or did not tell them on time. If, after all this, they still refuse to pay, you could go to court, produce a copy of the estimate as proof of damages, and sue them to recover the costs.

If my tenants removed the wall to wall carpeting in my property, do they pay for the original value of the carpet that they removed or the depreciated value of it?

Your tenants need only pay the depreciated or pro-rated cost of replacing the carpet. In most rentals, the carpet usually only lasts for only about 8 to 10 years.

Depreciation expenses are usually charged against the amount of revenue generated by using an asset. When you depreciate acquired real estate, you automatically reduce your income tax liability by showing a lower income. An expert may be able to help you understand specific issues related to the depreciated value of your property.
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