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Wear and tear occurs through repeated and permanent use or use of things , in particular commodities , which leads to a decrease in value .


In the relevant specialist literature , in addition to the term wear, the terms aging , material fatigue , change , wear , failure , destruction and failure are also used synonymously . According to DIN 31051 (2012-09), wear is understood as the degradation of the wear reserve, which is caused by chemical , biological or physical processes. The change in wear over time is visualized via the wear progression.


A distinction is made between regular and exceptional wear. While regular wear and tear results from repeated and continuous use, exceptional wear and tear occurs more or less by chance . This can occur on the one hand through external influences ( natural disasters ) or on the other hand through internal influences (overloading or incorrect operation of machines ). In principle, regular wear and tear is predictable, but exceptional wear and tear is not.


According to Section 434, Paragraph 1 of the German Civil Code ( BGB) , the purchased item is free from material defects if it has the properties agreed in the purchase contract upon transfer of risk . Otherwise, the item is free of material defects without a contractual agreement if it is suitable for the use stipulated in the contract or if it is suitable for normal use and has a property that is usual for items of the same type and that the buyer according to the Kind of thing can expect. Wear and tear due to normal and intended use after delivery is therefore not a defect , especially not misuse due to incorrect operation . Therefore, in warranty law, a distinction is made between natural wear and tear due to contractual use and improper use , both of which are signs of wear and tear and not material defects. According to Section 443 of the German Civil Code (BGB), the manufacturer or seller must remedy the material defects that occur during its period of validity at their own expense.

It is more difficult to prove material defects that arise from intensive use in accordance with the contract and this intensive use is intended for the properties of the item ( wear parts ). The exclusion of the warranty for wear parts is void according to § 309 No. 8b aa BGB . In this context, the legal question of obsolescence and planned obsolescence arises with regard to the lifespan of products . The two-year warranty the manufacturer / seller in the sale of consumer goods ( § 475 para. 2 BGB) in the form of liability for defects in any case no warranty or guarantee of durability, because wear and tear are not usually a fact of liability for defects. However, if wear and tear proves to be due to defects, there is a material defect. For this purpose, the product must deviate negatively from the usual properties of similar products upon delivery.

In tenancy law , wear and tear is referred to as "changes or deterioration in the rented property" ( Section 538 BGB). If these arise through contractual use, the tenant does not have to reimburse them because they are covered by the rent. In the case of lending ( § 602 BGB), usufruct ( § 1050 BGB) and previous heirs ( § 2132 BGB), the wear and tear caused by proper use must be borne by the owner.


In business administration , a distinction is made between use- related and natural (time-related) wear and tear. It is controversial here whether the corrosion represents use-related or natural wear. Initially, it does not impair the qualitative performance of the devices. However, if the performance is impaired, the devices must be restored through maintenance or servicing .


Depreciable assets are subject to depreciation for wear and tear ( Depreciation ) in accordance with Section 4 (6 ) EStG , whereas non- depreciable assets ( land , securities , goods , receivables ) are not (there is partial depreciation for this ).

See also

Web links

Wiktionary: wear and tear  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Uwe Schönfelder, Determination of the condition of real estate using the ERAB method - Basics for maintenance strategies , Dortmund: Werner Verlag, 2012; ISBN 978-3-8041-5253-3
  2. DIN (Ed.), DIN 31051 - Basics of Maintenance , Berlin: DIN German Institute for Standardization e. V., June 2003
  3. Suixin Zhang, Maintenance and Plant Costs , 1990, p. 18
  4. Erich Kosiol , Anlagenrechnung: Theory and Practice of Depreciation , 1955, p. 32
  5. ^ BGH, judgment of April 20, 1993, Az .: X ZR 67/92
  6. Dietrich Ditten, VOB / B manual , 2009, p. 298
  7. Stephan Lars Sonde, The right to defects under sales law as an instrument for realizing sustainable consumption , 2015, p. 138 f.
  8. Erich Kosiol, Anlagenrechnung: Theory and Practice of Depreciation , 1955, p. 31 f.
  9. for example Wolfgang Männel , Wirtschaftlichkeitsfragen der Anlagenerhaltung , 1968, p. 35
  10. for example Wolfgang Kilger , Flexible Plankostenrechnung and contribution margin calculation , 1958, p. 133