Landlords have to accept their properties will suffer some wear and tear , but how much is ‘fair’ and what is excessive wear and tear?
This will depend on how long you’ve lived in the property and how many there were of you. Obviously, the longer you stayed the more wear and tear the landlord will have to accept and if there were a number of you there will naturally be a bit more wear than if you were a single tenant.
A landlord must take into consideration all of the above when deciding whether the amount of wear and tear is ‘fair’ or excessive.
An inventory combined with check in and check out reports will help as the inventory clerk should indicate whether they think any damage or general wear and tear is yours or landlord’s responsibility.
To work out any deductions for excessive wear and tear, the landlord should take into consideration the initial cost of the item and take off an amount for its age.
So, if you burnt a hole in a sofa that cost £1000 five years ago and it could reasonably have been expected to last 20 years, the landlord would be within their rights to deduct £750 from your deposit to put towards the cost of a new one.
Dirt is not wear and tear. A property should be in the same state of cleanliness at the end of a tenancy as at the start.
As most arguments between landlord and tenant relate to cleanliness (or lack of), you should check your inventory to remind yourself of the state of the property and any furnishings when you moved in. Also, your tenancy agreement should state what sort of condition you’re expected to leave the property and its contents and whether you’re required to clean carpets and curtain etc.
If you get into a disagreement with your landlord about what’s fair wear and tear, you can ask for help from the scheme your landlord used to protect your deposit.