It’s a debate that has been going on for decades and although there are guidelines in place, still many landlord and tenant removals disputes revolve around the one question.
Tenant Removals: What is Fair Wear and Tear?
With the DPS (Deposit Protection Scheme) in full force, no longer is it simply a matter of debate, both sides must be able to prove their case or cough up to cover the consequences. It’s not unfair to say (be honest) that when the subject of the bond arises, both parties rub their hands wondering if they can exploit the fair wear and tear rule.
Many landlords will see a shabby carpet, instinctively they’ll dream of an all-expenses paid replacement before advertising the property to let again, but do they really deserve one and what has to be evident in order for them to claim the cost from the bond held by the DPS?
Tenants meanwhile know they’ve had a few accidents with the same carpet. They’ve spilled the odd coffee, maybe a glass of wine or dropped some ash from the log burning fire. Yet the fair wear and tear rule could mean this is all part of everyday life, it’s simply what happens when a carpet is used.
Distinguishing the Daily Life from the Accidental Damage
In the case of a carpet boffins have taken many factors into consideration, you’ll be surprised just how fair wear and tear is determined. As a general rule, a carpet of five years old should be replaced by a landlord anyway, younger than this and the discrepancies start to arise.
- Is it a high traffic area?
- Is it a good quality carpet?
- How much did cost originally?
- Does it have permanent stains?
- How does it compare to the inventory?
It can be a minefield but one, if you learn about it, that you can use to your advantage whether you’re a landlord or a tenant. This example is just for a carpet, imagine the other fair wear and tear aspects and remember, knowledge is power. The person with the power is an expert inventory clerk such as (XXX) who, once appointed, will make sure the fair wear and tear rule works for you with your tenant removals.