Is it really damage, or just fair wear and tear?

Maintaining your investment property is a key factor for ensuring you get the best return, but when is it your responsibility and when is it the tenants? The big questions is this: Is it really damage, or just fair wear and tear?

What is wear and tear?
Normal wear and tear is damage that naturally occurs over time in an investment property due to use and ageing. It typically results from the tenant’s day-to-day use of the property, like walking on the floors and using the bench tops. It can also simply be the result of the property getting older and being exposed to natural forces, such as gutters rusting from rain or timber window frames fading in the sun.

Wear and tear is something that just happens over time with normal use of the property – something that has not been caused intentionally, or by misuse or abuse. Because wear and tear is expected and considered normal depreciation, it is not covered by landlord insurance.

And, what is damage?
Damage is caused by tenants and isn’t caused by ageing. It is typically the result of negligence, carelessness or abuse. Insurers generally recognise three types of tenant damage:

1. Accidental – the result of sudden, unexpected or unforeseen events (such as wine spilled on carpets).
2. Malicious – caused on purpose with intent to do harm, motivated by vindictiveness or spite with the aim of damaging the property (such as punching a hole through a door).
3. Intentional – the result of an act carried out without permission but without malice, and with the full knowledge the action will alter the current state of the property (putting picture hooks in walls or painting a wall a different colour).
Posted in Property Insider on 30 Jul, 2019 | No Comments »

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