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What is Wear and Tear?

Wear and tear in a property can often be a bit ambiguous in the sense that both parties can often be unsure of what exactly it is. You will see the term in a Tenancy Agreement but the interpretation can still seem a little vague. And that is why, here at Property Loop, we have produced this article in an attempt to make it easier for you, as a landlord, to understand.  

What is Wear and Tear? PropertyLoop

Why It’s Necessary to Define Wear and Tear 

It is important to distinguish between what is wear and tear and what is quite simply damage. That’s because landlords can claim for a replacement item as an expense in their tax return. If it’s damage, then they can withhold money to buy a new mattress from the tenant’s deposit.   

If the tenant disputes this, then the matter will be resolved by a third party in an official arbitration process held by the statutory body who holds the deposit. Having said that, this is a very rare occurrence. According to government statistics Fortunately, tenancy deposit disputes are rare, to the extent there have been less than 1% since the Tenancy Deposit Scheme officially began back in 2013. 

What Is Wear and Tear in a Rental? 

Wear and tear is considered the somewhat expected damage that happens to a property through the day to day use of the property. This is typically seen through, scuffs, stains and marks and other signs of high usage. 

What Is Classed as Wear and Tear in a Property? 

When making the distinction between damage and fair wear and tear expectations are important. Whilst an owner may expect to encounter worn carpets, scuffed doors and peeling paint, unhinged doors and broken windows will not be considered fair wear and tear.  

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Can My Landlord Keep My Deposit if I Owe Rent? 

To the delight of renters, landlords are not able to make deductions from the amount of the security deposit that is being returned to the tenant for any reason they see fit. Owners are able to propose these deductions to recuperate the costs of any repairs that need to be carried out, alongside any rent arrears the tenant may have accumulated. With this being said, landlords that are seeking to recoup any losses they have experienced through missing rent may find that making deductions may not provide them with a significant return. This is because after the implementation of the 2019 tenant fees act landlords are prevented from taking more than five weeks rent from their prospective tenants in most cases; with the exception being if the annual rental income of the property is over £60,000 owners can ask for up to six weeks rent for the security deposit. With this in mind, if the landlord has to reclaim for repairs to the property, they will be unable to recover any significant amount of arrears.  

What Is a Property Inventory Report?   

A comprehensive property inventory report will detail the condition of a rental property from the outset of the tenancy. This report will show the state of each room within the property and the appliances contained within. These notes taken by the landlord and tenant will also be accompanied by dated photographs making any changes in the condition of the rental opportunity irrefutable.  

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