Estimated read time: 2 minutes
Defining wear and tear is crucial to ensure that any incidents exceeding reasonable use are handled correctly.
However, understanding what ‘fair wear and tear’ means, and when it is applicable can be challenging.
"Fair wear and tear refers to the reasonable deterioration that occurs
in a rental property over time, as a result of normal, everyday use during the period of a tenancy.
It’s separate from damage caused by misuse, negligence, or intentional actions
of a tenant, which the tenant should be responsible for."
What counts as fair wear and tear?
Faded paint, small scuffs and worn carpets are examples of wear and tear.
Damage that is caused by everyday use of the property would be considered wear and tear.
Factors such as the type of property or length of tenancy may change whether wear and tear is fair.
For example, a five year old carpet in a tenancy with multiple tenants will show more signs of wear and tear than the same carpet in a single occupancy tenancy.
If items that were already worn at the beginning of a tenancy are considered to be damaged, this may also be counted as fair wear and tear.
What’s not fair?
The key is to identify damage greater than can be attributed to normal use.
Examples include; broken appliances, tears in furnishings, and stains that cannot be removed by cleaning.
Anything caused by a tenant’s negligence - such as water damage or mould - would be considered beyond fair.
Cost of repairs or replacement for damage caused by the tenant can be claimed against their deposit.
The tenant should be provided with an itemised list of deductions and given the opportunity to dispute any charges.
It’s important that assessments are reasonable and fair for both parties.
How to avoid disputes
Thorough Check-out reports are essential to the process.
Any records of invoices, emails or receipts relating to damages should be kept as proof.
Reasonable and fair assessments, and thorough inspections will help ensure a smooth tenancy.
Fair wear and tear is natural and should be expected.
Enquire today to find your nearest team member.