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Here’s what to consider when calculating fair 'wear and tear'

General 'wear and tear' is a fact of life with rental properties, as with any other property, but to help determine what wear and tear should be covered by the landlord and the tenant, Jax Kneppers, founder and CEO of Imfuna, offers the following advice.

The Landlord

+ The landlord should expect to emulsion walls and ceilings every 3-5 years.

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+ Everything in a property has a limited lifespan. A landlord must expect to have to renew things following a long tenancy, eg. every year a landlord may need to renew things such as inexpensive door mats, plastic or cheap wooden kitchen ware, ironing board covers, lightweight chopping boards, oven gloves, cheap saucepans and paper lampshades. Replacing bath sealant also falls under a landlord’s maintenance issue after a tenancy of one year or longer. Every three years renewals for landlords would cover things such as polycotton bed linen, mattress and pillow covers, duvets, metal colanders, inexpensive kitchen bins, barbeque tools and indoor clothes airers.

+  Some things should be treated as ‘expendable’ if they are missing or damaged after a long tenancy, items such as plastic toilet brushes, inexpensive pillows and mattress protectors, flower arrangements, plastic shower curtains, house plants, plastic & wooden kitchen utensils.

The Tenant

+  Should remember than if something can be cleaned it should be. Cleaning issues are never treated as wear and tear.

+ The property, its contents and any exterior areas must be maintained to the standard as listed on the inventory as the start of the tenancy. A few minor marks to walls will be deemed wear and tear, but heavy marks will incur a penalty.

+  If items are broken or light bulbs blown these will need to be replaced before moving out. It will be more expensive if an agent or landlord has to arrange outside contractors to attend the property.

+ Furniture damage – a few minor scratches to a table top or light wear to corners could be deemed wear and tear.  Heat marks and water marks caused by tenant negligence will be deemed as damage and therefore a chargeable issue.

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