Fair Wear and Tear: Is It Really Fair?

Fair Wear and Tear: Is It Really Fair?

Nearly two out of every five tenants might be mistakenly losing their deposit money for claims on what is really fair wear and tear, a study indicates.

A survey of 2,000 tenants by Nationwide requesting explanations as to why renters have lost their deposit money found that thirty-nine percent had gotten deductions at the conclusion of the tenancy for basic wear and tear.

fair wear and tear

The research did not delve into the amount of the damage, but comes despite assistance from the deposit safeguards systems declaring that landlords must allow for “fair wear and tear” when considering deductions.

Assistance from the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) stated this ‘fair’ usage is among the primary disputes.

The TDS stated an adjudicator would permit fair usage based upon the duration of the tenancy, the number and age of the occupiers, and also the quality and state of the property when they first moved in. So clearly, having a thorough inventory is going to clear up at least that last point – if the previous tenants left the property in a bad state, why should the current ones be penalised?

This was not the sole reason behind deductions, with forty-one percent losing money due to lack of cleaning (and this number rose to sixty-eight percent for 18 to 24-year-olds).

One in seven had at least part of their despoit debited for redecorating expenses and twelve percent had been charged for damage to contents. Another five percent needed to cover damage to the building itself, and four percent had cash taken from their deposit for rent arrears.

When tenants did get their deposit returned, the typical time it took was 1.8 weeks.

Nearly half (forty-six percent) of private renters surveyed received the deposit back within 30 days of leaving, and almost one in five (eighteen percent) have been created waiting even more than three weeks along with an additional one in twenty five (four percent) waiting for over six months.

Paul Wootton, director of specialist lending for Nationwide, said: “While our investigation indicates that the majority of landlords return tenancy deposits fairly and quickly, it spotlights areas of confusion over what can or can’t be debited from the deposit.

“Both landlords and tenants are able to take steps that are simple at the beginning and end of every tenancy to guard against discrepancies and also understand their personal duties – causing a much better experience for everyone.”

Now, it’s clear that Looksy Inventories is going to suggest that a good inventory is one of these safeguards against fair wear and tear or anything else – but it’s true. So get in touch today to find out how we can help you.

fair wear and tear


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