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Tenant rights and wear and tear

Renting a home involves responsibilities for both the tenant and the landlord. Among these responsibilities is understanding the difference between normal wear and tear and damage.

This understanding is important for protecting tenant rights and ensuring fair treatment from landlords.

Understanding wear and tear

Wear and tear refers to the natural and gradual deterioration of the property over time due to normal use. Examples include fading paint, worn-out carpets and loose door handles. These are inevitable and occur regardless of how well a tenant maintains the property. In contrast, damage results from negligence, accidents or abuse of the property, such as holes in the walls, stained carpets from spills or broken windows.

Tenant rights

Tenants have the right to live in a property that remains in a good state of repair throughout their tenancy. This includes the landlord taking care of repairs caused by normal wear and tear. Tenants also have the right to their security deposit back at the end of the lease, provided they return the property in the same condition minus normal wear and tear.

Addressing wear and tear issues

When issues arise, communication is key. Tenants should report problems to their landlords in writing, documenting the condition of the property at move-in and move-out with photos. This documentation can help clarify what constitutes wear and tear versus damage.

If a landlord attempts to charge for normal wear and tear, tenants should refer to their lease agreement and use their documented evidence to dispute unfair charges.

Remaining informed about their rights and maintaining open communication with landlords can help tenants navigate these situations effectively.