Fair Wear & Tear or…………

15 11 2012

Hello from what was unexpectantly sunny Stoke-on-Trent today 🙂

Deposit claims can be difficult to get right when the Landlord and the Tenant have differing views on what is Fair Wear & Tear. This is why documentation is the essential on move in….The Inventory….can be worth it’s weight in gold (well £’s)

Here are a few Questions and Answers with regards deposits from our legal team that you may find of interest.

Question
Potential dispute regarding a check out. Have taken photos of a wall, which was newly decorated. Marking on the wall, scuffed where headboard had been. Tenant says it is fair wear and tear. We have got a quote for redecorating the wall. Deposit with the DPS.
Answer
After discussion it appears that you are uncomfortable with pursuing this. If in your judgement it is fair wear and tear you should let this go. In any case only a contribution towards redecorating the wall could be expected from the tenant even if they were deemed responsible for the marks, as the landlord cannot expect the décor to be as new after a tenancy.

Question
Check out, tenant been there a year. Dent in wooden floor due to furniture, would this be wear and tear?
Answer
This depends on the degree of damage. You have to make this judgement. In future you may consider recommending protective caps for furniture feet on wooden floors. If, as you say, there are scuff marks you could conclude that the tenant had not acted with care and the damage was beyond normal wear and tear.

Question
Tenants moved out and took washing machine with them. They have left owing rent so the deposit is already accounted for. We have been trying to trace them was no success. Should we call the police? Value about £100?
Answer
This is theft, it is a question whether you believe it is worth the effort involving the police and whether they would be interested if they consider this a minor matter or a civil dispute. The more we have discussed this there more it seems unlikely that, bearing in mind the possible age of the washing machine, whether it would be deemed to have any residual value anyway, it is unlikely that the value is in fact £100. Its annoying but it might be best for the landlord to move on.

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