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Fair wear and tear in tenancy generally refers to damage that occurs to a property through the ordinary day to day use of the property by the tenant. For example carpet may get worn over time by people walking on it.
Fair wear and tear generally becomes an issue at the end of a tenancy where the tenant to trying to obtain the release of their bond. To provide some understanding of what fair wear and tear is please see the following table for guidance.
It is the tenant’s responsibility to let their property manager or owner know when damage occurs at a property. A tenant should endeavor to keep the property clean to the best of their ability and and should ensure not to undertake deliberate action that will result in damage to a property.
As a way of gauging whether damage is considered fair wear and tear, a tenant should refer to their Property Condition Report (PCR) ,provided at the beginning of the tenancy. This document if completed and updated correctly should identify any areas of fair wear and tear, which should then limit the tenant’s liability at the end of the tenancy.
When damage does occur , the tenant can pay for the damage that occurred in the context of the age and wear of an item. For example, carpet according to the Australian Tax Office can be depreciated over 10 years and a tenant damages carpet by a small burn at the 8 year mark. The owner can apply a 20% cost to the tenant as the item was near depreciated and the owner could only forsee another two (2) years of use. The tenant is responsible for the damage however not for the whole replacement.
Tenants unsure if this applies to their tenancy, are welcome to call the AccordWest Tenancy Advice and Education service on 97299000.