Fair Wear and Tear: Where do you stand as a landlord?


When it comes to property care by the tenant, the concept of ‘fair wear and tear’ can be a difficult one to manage.

The definition of fair wear and tear is something that takes place from the normal use of the property.

The Residential Tenancies Act clearly states that the tenant must leave the property at the end of the tenancy in the same condition as the commencement, allowing for fair wear and tear.

Determining what is property damage and what is fair wear and tear can often be a grey area.

If a claim was made, the Courts would look at:

  • The original condition report of the property and compare it to the final exit report
  • How long the tenant had resided in the property
  • How many tenants lived in the property
  • The age and depreciated value of the items (i.e. carpets, window coverings, screens, appliances, etc.)
  • The circumstances of the tenancy will have a direct impact on fair wear and tear.

If a tenant had lived in the property for five years with three children the following may be considered fair wear and tear: worn and marked carpets, insects in globes, marks on walls, stained oven, etc.

However, if it was a couple that had lived in the property for 12 months and the same wear had taken place, it may not be considered fair wear and tear.

When a tenant vacates the property, we are required to take fair wear and tear into consideration.

There may be times as an owner when you will be required to invest in a final vacate touch up clean to avoid a costly Tribunal hearing if the tenant disputes the matter.

If you are unsure about the deductions you could be entitled to, you may like to visit the ATO at www.ato.gov.au or contact your accountant.

If you would like any further information or assistance with your investment property please do not hesitate to contact us at the office for a private and confidential conversation on either 0411 877 043 or rentals@cypressrentals.com.au


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