Landlord V Tenant: Who's Responsible?

Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia), April 5, 2014 | Go to article overview

Landlord V Tenant: Who's Responsible?


AS A landlord you are responsible for costs arising from fair wear and tear.

Sometimes it is difficult to agree what is normal wear and tear and what is wilful and neglectful damage by the tenant.

While legislation does not directly list examples, the following may help to explain the differences.

These are a guide only and there is always the possibility of a court determining otherwise.

Fair wear and tear where the landlord is liable:

Carpet wear in corridors or other areas used frequently;

A lock broken because it was old and had worn out;

Curtains faded from years in the sun;

Paint flaking because it is old or not applied properly.

Neglectful damage where the tenant is liable:

Stains or burns from things dropped or placed on floor coverings or benchtops;

The tenant forgot the key and broke the lock to gain access;

Mould/mildew has formed because the property was not aired adequately;

The tenant's pet tears the curtains or screens.

There is an expectation on landlords to maintain the property and often, if there is a dispute over fair wear and tear, the age of the item will be considered. …

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