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Landlords can have unrealistic expectations at Check-Ins

Landlords are still pushing for ‘betterment’, or ‘new for old’ at the end of tenancies and many have unrealistic expectations of what they can claim against tenant deposits.

Whilst the tenant has a duty of care to return the property in the same condition at the end of the tenancy as found at the start (allowing for wear & tear) as listed on the inventory report, the law does not allow landlords to claim ‘betterment’ or ‘new for old’ from the tenant’s deposit.

Many agents and landlords are seemingly unaware of the ‘betterment principle’ which means that if an item was old or worn at check-in, and after a two year tenancy there is some additional damage, the law will not allow a landlord to simply replace this item with a new one. Instead, some sort of compensation is allowable.

The betterment principle applies to cleaning issues as well. If a carpet was badly stained at the time of check-in a landlord can’t expect the tenant to pay for cleaning at the check-out, no matter how long the tenancy has been.

Often landlords will not bother to read the check in inventory which will properly detail the condition. Normal wear and tear is a fact of life with rental properties, just as it would be at home. The best way landlords can ensure that the property’s condition is fully recorded is by having a comprehensive inventory in place at the start of any new tenancy, and that a thorough check-in and check-out report is completed.

Members of the AIIC are experts in assessing fair wear and tear and have the knowledge and experience to take into account all factors before making their recommendations.