Fair wear and tear – does your property manager measure up?

When carrying out final inspections with a tenant to determine the final condition of the property and bond refund, we must compare the condition of the property at the commencement of the tenancy to the end of the tenancy and allow for “fair wear and tear”.

The definition of “fair wear and tear” is something that occurs through normal use or is the normal changes that take place with the aging of the property.

This statement is obviously open to interpretation and can often be seen as a grey area within property management, particularly when carrying out final inspections.

So where do we draw the line?

What is a tenant responsible for and what is a lessor responsible for?   agent house

This has been an ongoing challenge for many years.

It is a challenge that we as property managers have to deal with every time a tenant vacates a property.

Our landlords know that the property managers at Metropole adopts high expectations and standards when it comes to carrying out the final inspections.

Albeit, we are starting to discover that our expectations and standards are sometimes considered above the industry standard of what the tribunal system considers acceptable, allowing for “fair wear and tear”.

When a tribunal considers the issue of “fair wear and tear” (cleaning & damage/repairs at the end of the tenancy) they will take into consideration some of the following issues:

  • How long have the tenants resided in the property?
  • How many tenants resided in the property?
  • Age of the property, fixtures & fittings (i.e. age of the carpets or last date the property was painted etc)
  • Current depreciation status of the items in dispute
  • How was the property presented to the tenant at the commencement of the tenancy?

…just to name a few…

Some areas that can be open to interpretation include:

  • Marks on walls
  • Marks on carpet
  • Marks on window coverings
  • Holes in screens
  • Cleanliness (i.e. oven, stove, windows, light fittings, light switches, skirting boards etc)

It is our company practice to send tenants a final cleaning guide highlighting important areas that need to be addressed prior to vacating.  

Metropole Property Management

We also ensure that we accurately and thoroughly document the condition of the property at the commencement of the tenancy on the entry condition report, to minimise disputes at the end of the tenancy.

We will continue to adopt the policy if it was clean when a tenant moved in, then it will have to be the same when they move out”, however, to protect your interests as a landlord, you need to appreciate that in some circumstances it may be necessary to arrange for a cleaner to give the property a pre-tenant clean so there is no ambiguity of what is “fair wear & tear”.

If you’d like a property manager who cares as much about your property as you do why not have a chat with us – just click here.

It’s easier to change properties mangers than you think – we’ll take car of all the paper work


Subscribe & don’t miss a single episode of Michael Yardney’s podcast

Hear Michael & a select panel of guest experts discuss property investment, success & money related topics. Subscribe now, whether you're on an Apple or Android handset.

Need help listening to Michael Yardney’s podcast from your phone or tablet?

We have created easy to follow instructions for you whether you're on iPhone / iPad or an Android device.


Prefer to subscribe via email?

Join Michael Yardney's inner circle of daily subscribers and get into the head of Australia's best property investment advisor and a wide team of leading property researchers and commentators.

Avatar for Property Update


Leanne is National Director of Property Management at Metropole and a Property Professional in every sense of the word. With 20 years' experience in real estate, Leanne brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to maximise returns and minimise stress for their clients. Visit: www.metropolepropertymanagement.com.au

'Fair wear and tear – does your property manager measure up?' have no comments

Be the first to comment this post!

Would you like to share your thoughts?

Your email address will not be published.


Michael's Daily Insights

Join Michael Yardney's inner circle of daily subscribers.

NOTE: this daily service is a different subscription to our weekly newsletter so...