The difference between careless damage and intentional damage.
Tenants must tell the landlord straight away if they are aware of something that needs to be repaired or maintained, no matter how it happened or who caused the damage.
Damage is likely to be viewed as ‘intentional’ if the outcome was desired or if it was known by the tenant that damage was highly likely to result from the action taken. Damage is likely to be viewed as ‘careless’ if it was not intentional, but was not at the level of reasonable and responsible care expected of a tenant in the circumstances.
Fair wear and tear refers to the gradual deterioration of things that are used regularly in a property when people live in it.
A tenant is not responsible for normal fair wear and tear to the property or any chattels provided by the landlord when they use them normally. The tenant is responsible for any intentional or illegal actions causing damage. The tenant would generally be liable for damage caused carelessly if there is no insurance policy held by the landlord that would cover the damage.
An example of this would be where a stove element wears out from normal cooking. This is fair wear and tear. However, if the stove was being used to heat the kitchen and stopped working properly, this would not be considered normal use.
Examples of what is usually considered fair wear and tear are:
Examples of what is not normally considered fair wear and tear are:
The landlord is responsible for remediating wear and tear, whereas the tenant is responsible for any intentional or illegal actions causing damage. The tenant is also responsible in most cases for careless damage where the landlord has no insurance cover.This is how Tenancy Services view damage if it occurs to your Rental Investment so please call Dan if you need clarification on this.
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