Is it wear and tear or damage?

​Determining what is ‘wear and tear’ or ‘damage’ is a common challenge faced by many agents, landlords and tenants.

As a landlord, it is important to know the difference and check with your insurer to see what types of damage you are covered for. Essentially, the way to determine the difference, is deciding whether it is likely to happen over time, or if it is something that has occurred due to carelessness or intent.

Normal wear and tear: Occurs simply because people reside in a property. Examples include worn carpet in walkways, small scratches on flooring, scuff marks on walls, in addition to external damage caused by properties being exposed to the elements. Landlords should expect fair wear and tear to their property, as it would happen in any home that is being lived in.

Malicious Damage: Is motivated by vindictiveness and could include holes in walls/doors or graffiti. A police report is often required for malicious damage claims.

Accidental Damage: Isn’t caused by ageing and is typically the result of carelessness or abuse. Examples may include damage to fixtures or spills leaving significant stains on carpet.

Intentional Damage: Is the result of an act carried out to alter the state of an item, without any spite or malice. Examples of accidental damage may include putting up picture hooks or painting walls.