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Rental Property Wear and Tear vs Damage

Where Do You Draw The Line?

When renting out a property, the discussion around general  rental property wear and tear and damage may crop up. From this discussion may come the financial delegation of who is responsible for paying for what.

So let’s set the record straight.

Rental Property Wear and Tear

General wear and tear is expected on any property as the property ages. Wear and tear accounts for general deterioration to a property that is expected throughout its lifetime. Things such as:

  • Paint scuffs
  • Carpet stains (minor)
  • Scratches or dings in wooden floors
  • Dirty grout
  • Rust or discolouration
  • Fading of wood (from sunlight and lack of upkeep)
  • Broken handles or curtain cords
  • Deterioration of fly screens or door screens over time

Rental Property Damage

Damage on the other hand are any unexpected or major incidents that occur within the property. They are generally unforeseen events that you would not expect from general living. Damage can include:

  • Broken or smashed windows
  • Major carpet stains and smells due to smoking or pets
  • Broken toilets or sinks
  • Broken door handles or locks
  • Torn screens due to pets

Who Pays for Damage?

As a general rule of thumb, general wear and tear is at the expense of the landlord. The tenant is within their rights to request these items be fixed. However, any costs associated with damage to the property at the hands of their tenant, falls into their responsibility to fix. If as a landlord, you feel that the tenant has not agreed to the terms of their lease due to damage to the property, you can take a deduction from their bond to fix the damage to the property.

How to Avoid Further Damage to Your Property

It is now that you can see the importance of conducting regular inspections to assess the condition of your property. If any major damage has occurred it will be noted on your inspection report. If continual damage occurs, you will have just concerns to assess their ongoing tenancy or reason to cease the tenancy.

Having a good relationship with your property manager will ensure you are kept up-to-date with the condition of your property, and in the long run, the absence of any unwanted damage bills.