Fair Wear and Tear in Rental Properties

This can be a hot topic at the end of a tenancy when the final outgoing inspection is undertaken. During the final inspection, the original Ingoing condition report is pulled out and the property is compared to the condition it was in when the tenants moved in.  Depending on how long the tenants have lived in the property and how careful they have been things may not look the same as they did at the beginning of the tenancy, the question this blog looks at is what is fair for wear and tear.

What is Wear and Tear?

NSW Fair Trading has defined wear and tear to be the normal deterioration of a property from ordinary, everyday use. Exposure to the elements, time and day to day living can cause fair wear and tear.

What is Fair Wear and Tear?

Some common occurrences of fair wear and tear, that tenants are not responsible for include:

  • Faded curtains or frayed cords
  • Faded or minor chipped or cracked paintwork
  • Worn kitchen benchtops
  • Cracks in walls from structural movement
  • Worn paint near light switches
  • Indentations on carpets or traffic marks on carpet
  • Water stains on carpet that result from rain leaking through the roof or due to plumbing problem

Wear and Tear that tenants will be responsible for

On the flip side here are some common occurrences that a tenant would be responsible for

  • Missing curtains or window furnishings that may have been damaged by a pet
  • Animal urine stains in carpet or throughout property
  • Badly scratched or gouged wooden doors
  • Water stains caused by indoor pot plants or an overflowing bath
  • Burns or cuts in benchtops
  • Unapproved or a poor-quality paint job
  • Holes in walls left by the removal of picture hooks or shelves

 How to avoid a dispute

One of the best ways to avoid any dispute is ensure that your agent conducts a comprehensive Ingoing condition reports with photographs of the entire property, its also very important that regular comprehensive routine inspections are undertaken to ensure that the property is being well cared for and any routine repairs are being made in a timely manner.  Among other things these routine inspections should verify if the property is being kept in a clean and tidy condition, monitor any wear and tear compared to the previous inspection, ensure the lease terms are being adhered to including the number of people living at the property and if any pets appear to be living there.

If you have any questions about what is fair with regards to wear and tear in your rental property please don’t hesitate to reach out to a Rightside agent, who would be happy to help.

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