24 Jan 2019

Fair Wear and Tear Explained

A final bond inspection is done at the end of tenancy to determine the final condition of the property and whether the bond will be refunded to the tenant.  When damage has occurred, it could be as a result of ‘malicious damage’ or ‘accidental damage’ both of which are the responsibility of the tenant or alternatively it could be treated as ‘fair wear and tear’.

‘Fair wear and tear’ is something that occurs through normal use or normal changes that take place with the ageing of the property.  It is a broad term and can be open to interpretation.  The Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety defines it as “a general term for anything that occurs through ordinary use such as the carpet becoming worn in frequently used areas”… So where is the line drawn?  What is a tenant responsible for and what is a landlord responsible for?

If a bond refund was to be determined by the magistrate, they would consider the following;

  • How long have the tenants resided in the property?  How many tenants have resided in the property previously?
  • Age of the property, fixtures & fittings (i.e. age of the carpets or last date the property was painted, etc)
  • Current depreciation status of the items in dispute
  • How was the property presented to the tenant at the commencement of the tenancy?

Some grey areas that can be open to interpretation could include:

  • Marks on walls, carpets, curtains, etc
  • Holes in fly screens
  • Cleanliness (i.e. oven, stove, windows, light fittings, light switches, skirting boards, exhaust fans, etc).

By being prepared you can help to determine the best outcome.  At Blackburne, we send the tenant a “Final Inspection Cleaning Guide”, highlighting the important areas that need to be addressed prior to vacating.  We use it to set an expectation in relation to what needs to be cleaned and any repairs that the tenant may need to conduct or organise prior to handing the keys back.

For a smoother, stress free end to your leases or to learn more, contact Blackburne Property Management today.

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