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Friday, 6 January 2017

Fair Wear and Tear - An Overview

Many landlords ask what is fair wear and tear so I thought I would share this with you. It is an article prepared by Chase Inventory Services Limited.

The Legal definition- The law defines fair wear and tear as ” reasonable use of the premises by the tenant and the ordinary operation of natural forces”. This refers to the twin forces of time and normal daily habits. Walking across a carpet from the door to the dining table, for example, will exert a wearing effect during the length of a year which is perfectly natural.

A landlord cannot ask the tenant to pay for repairs or replacement at the end of the tenancy for changes caused by fair wear and tear.

No Entitlement to betterment:

It is a legal tenant that a landlord cannot expect to have old replaced with new at a tenant’s expense. An allowance for fair wear and tear must be made when considering compensation for damage.

Accessing fair wear and tear

A professional inventory clerk uses experience and common sense to assess the many factors present before deciding what is attributable to fair wear and tear. Here are some of the things a clerk will consider:

* The quality of the supplied item ( and that varies greatly).

* The age of the item.

*The condition at the start of the tenancy.

*The condition at the end of the tenancy.

* The usual life expectancy of the item.

*The number of tenants- and how many are adults and children-when appropriate.

* The length of the tenancy

* Any extenuating circumstances.

A tenant has a duty of care to leave the property at the end of the tenancy in the same condition recorded on the inventory, with fear wear and tear taken into account.

To avoid the appearance of betterment, the allocation of costs or compensation must take into account these three items.

1. Fear Wear and Tear ( as described above)

2. The most appropriate remedy for repair or replacement

3. That the landlord is neither financially or materially better of at the end of the tenancy, having taken into account (1) and exercised (2).`

So there you have it!

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