Wear and tear is a common feature of rental contracts, but what it actually means can be elusive. 

Finding out what fair wear and tear means is important for property managers and owners in order to understand what is legally correct when charging tenants for damages.

There is a fine and definite difference between fair wear and tear and man-made property damage.

By understanding the difference, it puts you in a good position in understanding your rights. 

What constitutes wear and tear:

There isn’t a strict definition for the term, however, it can be described as ‘the accumulated damage that happens through ordinary day-to-day use of the property.’ This is any damage that has been indirectly inflicted upon the property.

Each damage claim to a property needs to be assessed accordingly and a decision must be made:

If it’s deemed as fair wear and tear, the owner needs to replace / sufficiently repair the item.
If it’s deemed as damage, the tenant can be charged if necessary. The charge can vary from paying for a replacement or paying for complete repairs.

How to stay on top of this:

A property manager is entitled to receive their property in the same condition as they gave it to the tenant minus any fair wear and tear.

Protecting your property begins as soon as the tenancy starts, therefore it’s essential to do a full inventory check which is confirmed with the tenant the day tenancy starts. You can hire specialist companies to do an inventory with corresponding photos that are date-stamped, and note the state of the items (better still, using a software like Kaptur makes this process significantly easier!). It’s important to stay on top of any damages throughout the tenancy so the property isn’t given back in sub-par condition.

To see how Amana Lettings can help you stay on top of maintenance and wear and tear – get in touch!