Reasonable wear and tear to a rental property

Tenants and owners are not responsible for damages caused by reasonable/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.

Example: 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: 21 Jan 2020