One of the most contested terms in rental property is "fair wear and tear". Even with a tenant looking after the property with care, there will be slow deterioration over time simply because the property is lived in.
So what does "fair wear and tear" actually mean?
What is "fair wear and tear" in a rental property?
Every specific instance of deterioration to a property is different - there are no blanket definitions of what is definitely "in or out" when it comes to claiming fair wear and tear. However, it is helpful to revisit the following definition from Fair Trading NSW:
"Fair wear and tear means the deterioration that occurs over time with the use of the premises even though the premises receive reasonable care and maintenance. Such deterioration could be caused by exposure, time or just by ordinary use. You (the tenant) are only liable for negligent, irresponsible or intentional actions that cause damage to the premises".
Let's break this down into a few simple chunks.
A tenant is not responsible for providing compensation for fair wear and tear, however must provide compensation for damage (often taken as a deduction from the bond).
Examples of fair wear and tear versus damage in a rental property
Fair Trading NSW have summarised some typical examples of fair wear and tear (where the tenant is not liable for the deterioration to the property) and damage (where the tenant is liable). These are common points of contention and a very handy reference for landlords and tenants alike.
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