Defining 'fair wear and tear'

‘Fair wear and tear’ basically means the normal deterioration of a property from ordinary, everyday use. Such factors as exposure to the elements, time and just day-to-day living can cause fair wear and tear.


Fair wear and tear

  • Faded curtains or frayed cords
  • Furniture indentations and traffic marks on the carpet
  • Scuffed wooden floors
  • Faded, chipped or cracked paint
  • Worn kitchen benchtop
  • Loose hinges or window or door handles; worn sliding tracks
  • Cracks in the walls from movement
  • Water stains on carpet resulting from leaky roof or bad plumbing
  • Worn paint near light switches



  • Curtains that are missing or torn by the tenant’s cat
  • Stains or burn marks on the carpet
  • Badly scratched or gouged wooden floors
  • Unapproved or poor-quality paint job
  • Burns or cuts in benchtop
  • Broken panes from one of the tenant’s children hitting a ball through the window
  • Holes in walls from tenant hammering in nails or from removing picture hooks or shelves
  • Water stain on carpet resulting from an overflowing bath or indoor pot plants
  • Paint damage resulting from removing decorations stuck with Blu-Tack or sticky tape
  • Mould and mildew has formed because the dwelling was not aired properly
  • You forgot your key and broke a lock to get in

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