If you’re a tenant, chances are you’ve heard of the term ‘fair wear and tear’. But what does it mean exactly? It can be difficult to know what is considered acceptable wear and tear on a rental property and how much responsibility falls on the tenant for damage that occurs during their tenancy.
Landlords should have rental property insurance to safeguard their real estate from any harm or damage, but it’s equally crucial for tenants to obtain their own tenant liability insurance to secure their possessions. In recent years, laws surrounding who’s responsible for damages on a rental property have undergone some modifications. Now tenants hold some responsibility in cases of any damage caused to the property, but fair wear and tear can be an exemption.
Let’s have a better understanding of what fair wear and tear actually means.
What is Fair Wear and Tear?
Fair wear and tear is the natural deterioration of rental property due to daily use by tenants. This includes normal fading, aging, or minor defects that occur naturally over time. As such, tenants are not liable for any costs associated with fair wear and tear; this is something that should be anticipated by landlords when they purchase the property. It is important to note that fair wear and tear also applies to items such as appliances included in the lease agreement, which may become worn or damaged over time due to normal use.
What isn’t Considered Fair Wear and Tear?
On the other hand, certain types of damage are considered beyond fair wear and tear: damage caused by negligence or misuse by tenants. Examples of this could include stains on carpets or furniture caused by food or drink spills, broken windows or doors due to carelessness, holes in walls, paint stains from artwork hanging without proper protection, etc. This type of damage is often referred to as tenant-caused damage (TCD), which must be paid for either through compensation from the tenant directly or from their security deposit (if applicable).
It’s important for both landlords and tenants to understand the difference between fair wear and tear versus tenant-caused damage so they can ensure everyone’s rights are respected throughout the tenancy period. Tenants should always seek advice from their landlord if they’re unsure about how their actions might affect the condition of a rental property; conversely, landlords should make sure they communicate any expectations clearly with their tenants regarding regular maintenance of their properties so that all parties involved can avoid any misunderstandings further down the line.
Fair wear and tear can be tricky territory for landlords – but understanding what it means helps both landlords and tenants know where they stand when it comes to maintenance issues in a rental property. Generally speaking, if an item has been damaged through everyday use, then it will likely be considered fair wear and tear, but if it has been damaged through misuse, then it will likely fall under tenant-caused damage (TCD), which may require an additional payment on behalf of the tenant in order for repairs/replacements to be made.
Ultimately, communication between landlord & tenant will help ensure everyone understands their rights and responsibilities when dealing with issues related to fair wear and tear within a rental property.