Wear & Tear Defined
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Fair wear and tear, as defined by the House of Lords, is reasonable use of the premises by the tenant and the ordinary operation of natural forces. The word "reasonable" can be interpreted differently, depending on the type of property and who occupies it. In addition, it is an established legal principle that a landlord is not entitled to charge his tenants the full cost for having any part of his property, or any fixture or fitting, put back to the condition it was at the start of the tenancy. Landlords can not use the tenant deposit like an insurance policy where you might get full replacement value or new for old.

The Landlord  has a duty to act reasonably and not claim more than is necessary to make good any loss. i.e.

1. Replacement of a damaged item may be justified where it is either severely and    extensively damaged beyond economic repair or, its condition makes it unusable;

2. Repair or cleaning is a more likely award where replacement cannot be justified;

3. In cases where an item has had its value reduced or its lifespan shortened, for example by damage, an award of compensation may be appropriate;

The landlord should not end up either financially or materially in a better position than they were at the start of the tenancy, or than they would have otherwise been at the end of the tenancy after having allowed for fair wear and tear. This avoids allegations of betterment by the tenant.
Considerations Summary

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  Length of Tenancy
  Number and age of Tenants
  during that rental period
  Quality and condition of
   items at the start of the
   rental period
  Quality and condition of
   items at the end of the
   rental period
  Average useful lifespan to
  depreciation value ratio of
  any item
  Reasonable usage of any item
  Wear and tear vs damage
   and loss
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