What is Wear and Tear, and when is it Damage?

What is Wear and Tear, and when is it Damage?

Wear is what happens to anything that moves or regularly heats up and cools. Over time the friction and stresses deteriorate the thickness and strength of the components.

At some point, the wear weakens the component, so it can no longer absorb the stresses it was intended to and breaks. That is Tear. The critical thing is that must happen as a result of normal, appropriate usage.

If something is misused and stops working, it’s not Wear and Tear; it is damage.

Damage is when an item is used in an unintended way or when an inappropriate amount of force is used. A child drawing on a wall or a window being slammed shut and cracking are obvious examples.

The law also looks at whether the amount of usage is reasonable. A stove that is being used to prepare meals for the family is reasonable. A stove being used to cook for a catering business is not.

In unreasonable wear and tear cases, the tenant is responsible for the cost of repair or replacement, while for reasonable wear and tear, the owner is responsible.