Fair Wear & Tear or Damage?

This question is one that arises quite regularly and unfortunately can cause disputes at the end of a tenancy.


At the commencement of the tenancy, we conduct a thorough ingoing inspection and provide a detailed report to the tenant, including photos of the property. The tenant has the opportunity to make any changes to this report within 7 days. At the end of a tenancy, the tenant is responsible for leaving the property as near as possible to the same condition as when they started living in it. This is why the ingoing condition report is so important and why we provide so much detail in it!


The tenant is responsible for negligent, irresponsible or intentional actions that cause damage to the property. However, the tenant is not responsible for ‘fair wear and tear’. This is where it can become tricky, how do we determine what is fair wear & tear and what is damage?


NSW Fair Trading state that fair wear and tear is the deterioration that occurs over time to the property. They provide the following examples of fair wear and tear compared to damage.

Fair Wear & Tear Damage
Faded curtains or frayed cords Missing or torn curtains.
Furniture indentations or traffic marks on carpetStains or burn marks on carpet.
Scuffed up wooded floors.Badly scratched or gauges wooden floors.
Faded, chipped or cracked paing. Unapproved, poor quality paint job.
Worn kitchen bench top.Burns or cuts in bench top.
Loose hinges or handles on door or windows and worn sliding tracks Broken glass.
Water stains on carpet through leaking room or bad plumbingWater stians on carpet caused by overflowing bath or indoor pot plants.
Paint worn off wall near light switchDamage to paint caused by removed posters stuck on with blu-tack or sticky tape.
Although this list is a helpful guide, as you can see, it is not extensive! On top of this, once we determine an item is damaged, we then need to take into consideration the age of the item and depreciation to further determine whether a tenant is responsible for the full cost of the damage or only a partial contribution to the cost.

Working in the best interest of our landlords at all times, our highly trained team will always talk you through these situations and provide you with accurate advice and up to date legislation requirements in order to achieve the best possible outcome.

We’re here for any Property Management questions you may have.

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