Common examples of ‘fair wear and tear’

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As a renter, it is vital to be aware of the differences between ‘fair wear and tear’, as opposed to what is considered damage to your rental home. By understanding this distinction and being aware of some common examples, renters will be best equipped to receive the return of their bond upon vacating the property.

18 September 2018

Fair wear and tear refers to the expected deterioration of a property from everyday use as well as the general effects of time and exposure to the elements, including sunlight and other unpreventable environmental factors.

Partner and Manager of Bayside Marshall White Property Management, Bonnie Shannon explains, ‘Fair wear and tear is a result of reasonable day-to-day living in a home, which is also dependent on the age of the property.’

Examples of fair wear and tear include, but are not limited to:

  • Paint fading and discolouration over time
  • Cracks in plaster as the building ages
  • Carpets becoming worn from use however, this does not include stains
  • Garden mulch breaking down over time
  • Damages from external sources such as sun and rain
  • Loose hinges, window or door handles
  • Furniture indentations on carpet

Damages, on the other hand, are caused by negligence or carelessness. We understand that accidents happen, but unfortunately if something is considered to be otherwise preventable, then it falls into this category

Fair wear and tear is a result of reasonable day to day living in a home, which is also dependent on the age of the property.

Bonnie Shannon

While every home and tenancy is unique, there are some common instances that are clearly defined as damage. Accidental damage is generally caused by a sudden and unexpected event.

Examples of damages include, but are not limited to:

  • Dents or heel marks in the floor
  • Stains, burns or water damage on carpet or other flooring material
  • Chipped or marked bench tops from cutting food
  • Stains on bench surfaces
  • Cracked or broken light globes or light fixtures
  • Paint discolouration due to candles or smoke
  • Cracked or broken windows due to slamming or careless use
  • Unapproved or poor painting
  • Damages caused by pets
  • Holes in the wall, including from nails or hooks

For further information, please contact our Property Management Team on (03) 9822 9999 who will be happy to assist with any enquiries.