What is ‘Fair Wear and Tear’?

The definition of ‘Fair Wear and Tear’ is often a contentious one between landlords and tenants! And to complicate things further, there is currently no legislative definition of ‘Fair Wear and Tear’. Generally, it is considered damage that occurs due to the ordinary use of the premises by a tenant over the passage of time or the ordinary operation of natural elements.

Some practical examples of ‘Fair Wear and Tear’ would be:
☑️ Old, warped window frames
☑️ Paint that has faded in the ordinary course
☑️ Plaster that has cracked as a building settles
☑️ Carpets worn as the result of being walked on

The following would constitute damage due to negligence and would be for the tenant’s account:

☑️ Windows damaged as a result of being slammed
☑️ Walls damaged by nails or screws
☑️ Paint discoloured as a result of cigarette or candle smoke
☑️ Carpets discoloured by pets or stains
☑️ Kitchen counters scratched due to cutting

It is important that your Lease Agreement is specifically drafted to avoid any confusion and that the definition of ‘Fair Wear and Tear’ is carefully explained to tenants so that they are fully aware of their obligations regarding the maintenance of the property.

To subscribe to the TPN LeasePack to gain absolute clarity about ‘Fair Wear and Tear’ in your leasing documentation, please click here.

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