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Professionals Arthur Johnston Snowball

256 York St Albany

(08) 9841 1777

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Wear & Tear in Rental Properties

21 Mar 2017 Albany 0 Comment

55681469 - water damage in house after flooding with stains on the wall

Normal wear and tear? Or accidental?

It’s a story we here at Professionals Arthur Johnston Snowball hear of on an all too regular basis. Tenant moves out. Owner is upset at what they see as damage to their property and make deductions from the tenants bond. Tenant is also now upset, believing the damage is simply ‘fair wear and tear’.

In Western Australia, tenants are not responsible for paying for fair wear and tear to a property. It’s only when the tenant has been negligent or has intentionally caused damage to a premises that he or she is liable to pay for repairs.

Fair wear and tear’ basically means the normal deterioration of a property from ordinary, everyday use. Such factors as exposure to the elements, time and just day-to-day living can cause fair wear and tear. (Carpets being worn from people walking on them for example)

However, “what does the Residential Tenancies Act” say about fair wear and tear? Unfortunately not much. There is no definition of fair wear and tear in the Act however it does describe the tenant’s responsibilities for cleanliness and certain repairs.

When the term such ‘fair wear and tear’ is somewhat vague and open to interpretation, it’s understandable that disagreements arise.

Fair wear and tear

Reasonable wear and tear is generally considered to be:


A list of items may include:

However, some landlords also have unrealistic expectations that their property will remain in exactly the same condition at the end of the lease as when the tenants first moved in.

The reality is though, that wear and tear on a rental property will occur over time. Landlords should expect a level of wear and tear on their rental property while it is being tenanted

The key to avoiding such disputes lies in the preparation of an extremely thorough property condition reports – complete with detailed photos.

One of the main reasons landlords confuse wear and tear for accidental damage is because after leasing their property they often don’t see it again until the end of the rental agreement. This is why it is important for your Property Manager to carry out regular inspections and advise you on the property’s upkeep.

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