Fair Wear & Tear vs Damage

What is Fair Wear & Tear

The term “fair wear and tear” refers to the natural deterioration of a property as a result of normal, everyday use.
It’s impossible to live in a house without inflicting small damage, such as scuff marks on the walls or worn carpet in high-traffic areas.
Discoloration of draperies, carpets, paint, and even floorboards can occur due to exposure to the environment, particularly the intense Australian sun.


Frequently, once a tenant has moved out, the landlord will notice alterations to the property that occurred during the tenancy.
If these alterations are classified as fair wear and tear or damage inflicted intentionally or by the tenant failing to take reasonable care, the renter will be obligated to pay for them through their bond.


Knowing what constitutes fair wear and tear will help tenants get their bond back in full at the end of their tenancy.
Similarly, landlords with reasonable expectations for normal wear and tear and a competent property management should be able to prevent bond conflicts.

What is Considered Wear & Tear

Although tenancy and real estate rules vary between different states, the market has mostly accepted this meaning of “tear and fair wear” and some examples are –

  • Worn out paint near light sockets.
  • Water stains on rags and carpets caused by leaking roofs and imperfect plumbing works.
  • Cracks in the walls and floors caused by movement.
  • Loose door handles, windows and door hinges.
  • Worn out sliding tracks.
  • Worn out kitchen counters.
  • Cracked chipped and faded paint.
  • Scuffed tiles in high traffic areas.
  • Traffic marks and furniture indentations on the carpet.
  • Frayed cords and faded curtains.

What is Considered Damage

  • Missing or torn curtains and floor rags by tenant’s pets,and kids.
  • Damaged paint caused by removing paintings and decorations stuck with sticky tape or with Blu-Tak.
  • Stains on carpet caused by spilling beverages or pot plants
  • Leakages may also cause damages to the wooden tiles and carpets.
  • Holes in walls from residents removing shelves, hooks and hammering in nails.
  • Broken window panes. Tenants may break windows while playing soccer.
  • Cuts or burns on kitchen counters.
  • Poor-quality /unapproved paint job.
  • Gouged or badly scratched wooden floors.
  • Burn spots and stains on carpets and floor rags.
Denton Nakumura

Denton Nakumura

Denton is the supervisor at CE Cleaning Company Sydney and has many years experience in the cleaning industry.