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Reasonable wear and tear to a rental property

Tenants and owners are not responsible for damages caused by reasonable or fair wear and tear.

What is reasonable wear and tear?

Reasonable wear and tear includes things which happen to the property:

  • unintentionally and are out of the tenant’s control
  • during the normal use of the property, and
  • which do not create significant effect.

The extent, noticeability and effect of the damage should be used to consider whether the wear and tear is reasonable.

Examples of fair wear and tear: minor marks and scratches, wearing down of carpet pile, parts of the house fading due to sunlight.

What isn't reasonable wear and tear?

Damage to a property (even if accidental) which isn't considered reasonable wear and tear includes:

  • significant carpet stains
  • marks
  • burns
  • scratches.
Updated: 02 Jul 2020

This page has been produced and published by the Consumer Building and Occupational Services Division of the Department of Justice. Although every care has been taken in production, no responsibility is accepted for the accuracy, completeness, or relevance to the user's purpose of the information. Those using it for whatever purpose are advised to verify it with the relevant government department, local government body or other source and to obtain any appropriate professional advice. The Crown, its officers, employees and agents do not accept liability however arising, including liability for negligence, for any loss resulting from the use of or reliance upon the information and/or reliance on its availability at any time.