Wear and tear at the end of a tenancy
Can I expect to receive my property back in the same condition?
Yes and no!
Yes, as your agent we will ensure that everything is restored to the condition described in the inventory, which includes photographs.
No, because, the longer the time the property is let, the greater the wear and tear which is allowed under the British Tenancy Law.
Successful landlords understand that wear and tear is a cost of doing business just as fuel is a cost for FedEx and DHL.
Wear and tear is like meeting an old friend and being surprised to discover that he or she has aged.
This is a difficult concept for some landlords to accept. They don’t notice the gentle deterioration of their own home as they live in it full time, but they pounce on changes to a rental property they have not seen for several years. This is not reasonable.
Some of the biggest and most surprising changes happen in gardens. One family barely recognised their garden when they returned to their house after 15 years. It was a new house when they left with just a lawn. Plants and shrubs they had paid for had matured and grown over the years.
If you haven’t redecorated for several years, the condition will have deteriorated, even with the most house-proud of tenants. If you are letting to a family with children, the property will have suffered even more wear and tear.
The Tenancy Deposit Scheme advises that high-traffic areas (kitchen, hallways, bathrooms) need redecorating every three years. Sometimes we are disappointed with aspects of the final presentation of family homes. But it is part of our service to ensure that everything is put right (less wear and tear). The inventory is the document used by all parties to evaluate, if necessary, any deductions from the tenants’ deposit.
This is one of the 50 most asked questions in our book: Landlord Intelligence.