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damage or wear and tear?

Published: 06/01/2023

As a landlord, it is important to understand your legal obligations and responsibilities when maintaining and protecting your property. One key aspect of this is understanding how to handle situations where a tenant causes damage to your property.

According to the law, tenants are responsible for any damage they cause to a rental property, whether accidental or intentional. This includes damages caused by them or their guests, such as cigarette burns, damage to walls, carpet stains, or failure to clean the property before moving out. They are legally responsible for covering the cost of repairs or replacements.

However, it is essential to note that there is a difference between damages caused by a tenant and normal wear and tear. Landlords are responsible for maintaining the property and repairing damages caused by normal wear and tear. Normal wear and tear are defined as the gradual deterioration of a property that occurs over time due to everyday use. This can include fading paint, worn carpets, or minor wall scuffs, for example.

To avoid confusion and disputes, landlords must conduct a thorough move-in inspection with the tenant and document the property's condition before the tenant moves in. This can include taking pictures or videos of the property, noting any existing damages, and having the tenant sign a document acknowledging the property's condition. This can be used as evidence in case of disputes. Conducting regular check-ins throughout the tenant's stay can also be beneficial to keep track of any damages or repairs that need to be made.

Additionally, having a 
property management service can help alleviate this process's stress and uncertainty. A property management service will handle the move-in and move-out process, assess any damages, negotiate charges to the tenant's deposit, and facilitate repairs. In the event of a dispute, a property management service will utilise the tenancy deposit dispute service to make a final ruling that both parties must abide by.

In summary, as a landlord, it is important to understand your legal obligations and responsibilities to maintain and protect your property. Tenants are responsible for any damages they cause to the rental property, accidental or intentional. However, landlords are responsible for maintaining the property and repairing damages caused by normal wear and tear. To avoid confusion and disputes, landlords must conduct a thorough move-in inspection with the tenant, document the property's condition, and have regular check-ins. A property management service can also help alleviate the stress and uncertainty of this process. It is also important to be familiar with the rental laws. Consultation with a legal professional can also be beneficial to ensure compliance with the law.


Circa London Sales & Lettings successfully manage hundreds of properties all over central London.  Read our 5* Google Reviews here to find out what a fantastic service we provide to our Landlords and Tenants alike.

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