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Damage to your rental property: How landlords should deal with damage

Damage to your rental property: How landlords should deal with damage

The difference between wear and tear and damage

Disputes often occur over what can be considered as wear and tear and what is considered as damage. Landlords are responsible for repairing wear and tear which comes naturally with time. This includes the repair or replacement of:

  • appliances which are used everyday (ovens, kettles, lights and their switches and so on)
  • the discolouration of carpets, curtains and other fabrics. (not including mess caused by pets, cigarettes or accidental spillage of food/ drink)
  • painting, wallpapering and scratches on surfaces.

However, when there is obvious damage to the property such as:

  • Broken furniture
  • Mess caused by pets or cigarette burns
  • Broken window/ doors

then tenants should take responsibility for these to be repaired. We suggest that landlords encourage tenants to report any damage or incidents within the property straight away. The sooner both parties can decide who is responsible for repairs, the less likely there will be disputes over deposit money at the end of the tenancy. We also advise that landlords and tenants sign a written agreement at the beginning of the tenancy, explaining in detail what kind of wear and tear is to be expected and what tenants are responsible for fixing.

Often, unplanned incidents occur where damage is caused by other parties. This includes accidental damage from builders/ plumbers or electricians visiting the property. Landlords are in charge of making sure these damages are fixed and the property is safe for the tenants. Damage caused by neighbours also falls under the responsibility of the landlord. Unfortunately, fences are broken and roof top tiles are dislodged over footballs! As well as this, any damage caused by crime such as burglars breaking windows/ doors falls under the responsibility of the landlord. Landlords are responsible for ensuring their rental property is secure and safe for people to reside in.

Deducting from Deposits

Landlords are able to deduct deposit costs from damage caused to the property by tenants. A reasonable amount should be charged on a ‘like for like’ basis. Tenants should only be expected to pay the cost, to repair something, of the same value of what was broken.
When claiming repayment for damages, Landlords should be prepared to offer evidence of costs and explanation of why that certain amount is being asked for.

At the beginning of each tenancy, it is important to note down the state of the house and furniture at the beginning of the tenancy. This is done through an inventory report which will contain a detailed breakdown of the whole property. We understand that this can be a tedious process so Kronos Estate Agents’ full management service provides landlords with everything they will need to ensure their property is protected and well looked after. Get in touch with us today via phone at 020 8004 4477 or via email at


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