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What is fair tear and wear in a rented property?

Substantially, fair wear and tear is the reasonable deterioration of an item at the property due to its age/exposure over time and normal use during the tenancy period. So you should only propose a deduction from the tenants’ deposit when the deterioration was avoidable and due to the tenant’s actions or omissions.

Fair wear and tear on rental property and what damages a landlord can deduct from a tenant’s deposit is a question one can write reams on. It’s a subject with many heated debates between the landlord and the tenant.

What do fair tear and ware expected to mean?

At the end of a tenancy, the tenant has a responsibility to leave the property in the same order and condition recorded at the inventory stage with fair and wear taken into account.

What constitutes fair wear and tear?

Wear and tear add up over a period of time that is the longer the tenancy the more wear and tear should be expected. A landlord cannot charge the tenant for repair or replacement for charges which were caused by normal fair wear and tear at the end of a tenancy.

What damages can the landlord charge for?

Landlords can legally charge for any damages to the unit caused by tenants or guests of tenants. There is no specific standard for how much the landlord can legally deduct from a deposit for any damage. Only the terms of the individual lease agreement and the landlord’s rights in terms of the rental housing act that is to claim compensation for damage for the property caused by the tenant has the bearing on that.

The normal tear and wear is a natural and inevitable occurrence as a result of time and repetitive daily habits. If it’s not a result of negligence, misuse, carelessness, abuse or abuse of the premises the tenant cannot be held liable. This can include peeling or cracked paint, faded tile or floor, faded walls in the bathroom or kitchen, chipped wall plaster, grouting in bathroom tiles and sliding closet doors stick etc.

However tenants can cause major unacceptable levels of damage that was not unavoidable, they will be liable to be held accountable under their tenancy agreement. The damage is not naturally occurring and its harm affects the value, usefulness or normal functioning of the item property. This damage can be committed on the purpose or through neglect. These damages include; a hole in the middle of the floor, a missing door, holes in the wall.

The other things to consider are how long the tenant has lives in the property and the condition of the property when they arrived.A tenant who has been in a property for ten years is going to have caused more tear and wear than the one who only stays for five months.

 When it comes to the original condition, if for example the floor already had few chipped tiles out when the tenant arrived,the landlord cannot charge them for the tiles fixing.


The landlord and tenancy rights are stipulated in the tenancy act. This can be affected by many conditions which can be avoidable. The landlord can consider management or property letting services from a real estate company.

West Kenta Real Estate offers construction services. Management services, property letting services, property sales services and property valuation services.

We can offer management services on your rental property for pocket friendly charges. You can get us at our offices in Kisumu Cairo Road, Behind Xaverian Primary School Next to the Hare Krishna Temple.

Our addresses;

P.O BOX 5218-10100 Kisumu, Kenya

Mobile: 0789217685/0724481087

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