When you buy investment property, whether it’s an apartment in the Perth CBD and inner ring suburbs or newer properties in the middle and outer rings, it is important to know that your buildings will deteriorate with age. No matter how well your tenants or your property management team takes care of your property, ageing will always affect the buildings.
Deterioration due to ageing is called “fair wear and tear.” Tenants cannot be held responsible and you cannot claim it on your landlord’s insurance. It is in your best interest to know exactly what you can claim and what you can’t because it could cost you thousands of dollars if you don’t know and aren’t fairly compensated for damages that aren’t considered to be more than fair wear and tear.
So, What Constitutes Fair Wear and Tear?
There really isn’t a formal definition of fair wear and tear that I can find. The accepted standard is that any deterioration that is a natural result of ageing counts as fair wear and tear. The problem is that landlords and tenants see “natural” differently.
For example, when a path begins to appear on high foot traffic areas of a carpet, that would be considered fair wear and tear. So would fading on curtains or minor scratches on surfaces such as walls or floors. A light fixture or appliance that has broken because of age qualifies as fair wear and tear.
One standard is that fair wear and tear happens over time, while damages for which a tenant is liable happen suddenly, such as a stain on a carpet or damage to a floor or wall as a result of moving furniture.
What About Neglect?
Neglect that allows damage to happen, even if it is exacerbated by age, is the responsibility of the tenant. For example, failure to remove standing water resulting in mould or other water damage qualifies as neglect.
How Do I Keep My Properties from Undue Wear and Tear?
The surest way to keep your investment properties in good shape is to hire the best property management firm in Perth: Investors Edge. We find you good tenants and then protect your property through top-notch maintenance and regular inspections. A well-maintained property always shows less effects from deterioration.
Call 1300 472 427.