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Damage to floor boards - who pays and what proportion?

Discussion in 'Repairs & Maintenance' started by kitdoctor, 5th Jul, 2016.

  1. kitdoctor

    kitdoctor Well-Known Member

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    I've had some damage occur to some timber floorboards (scratches due to the feet of furniture not having any soft protection ). Their condition was remarkable up until the current tenant with nothing at all recorded on previous tenant's exit condition report and the current tenant's entry condition report. The previous tenant was the only previous tenant and they were there for eight years while the tenant that has just exited was only there eight months (another story!). The floorboards were installed just before we purchased the house and then rented it to the first tenants.

    It's a floating floor and I'm pretty sure they're timber veneer floorboards. PM is currently organising a quote to repair (sand and recoat?). I envisage I'll have to have the whole lounge room done even though there are only three (deep) scratches. I could even be up for complete replacement if the scratches go through to the substrate beneath the veneer layer.

    My question is, I would not have to incur this cost at all because they were in near perfect condition. So how much of the cost should the outgoing tenant pay?
     
  2. kitdoctor

    kitdoctor Well-Known Member

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    Yep, the worst case has eventuated. The scratches are too deep, the damaged boards can't be matched, so the whole lot need to come up and be replaced. Quote to replace $2100.

    Any suggestions? Should I post in a different forum board?
     
  3. Biz

    Biz Well-Known Member

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    How old are they? Is it going to stop someone else living there?
     
  4. markson

    markson Well-Known Member

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    What has the PM said? Do they believe it is wear and tear or malicious damage?
     
  5. Joynz

    Joynz Well-Known Member

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    Try using one of the crayons specially for this. Replacing a whole floor for three scratches seems extreme.

    When the floor at my place was scratched, the PM said it was considered normal water and tear.
     
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  6. kitdoctor

    kitdoctor Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for all the responses. The floor boards were seven years old but like I said they were close to perfect, not even the slightest scuff mark. These scratches are inches long, comprising two or three connected scratches. There's no doubt the last tenant caused it. I don't believe it was malicious, simply being negligent.

    In my favour they were only there eight months not many years, so this may well work in terms of the 'fair wear and tear' argument.

    PM has simply said via email 'Please advise how much you wish to apportion to the tenant.'
     
  7. EN710

    EN710 Well-Known Member

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    Any pic?

    I would not bother replacing the entire floor if it is 3 scratches on 3 floorboards...
     
  8. kitdoctor

    kitdoctor Well-Known Member

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    I agree, I wouldn't replace them at this stage either as the place is going to continue as an IP. Question is, how much should I try to seek in costs from the outgoing tenants?
     
  9. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    A tenant is entitled to use furniture in their leased premises (apparently), scratches on timber floors are 'wear and tear' regardless of the tenancy being 1 decade or one day.

    Best bet is the coloured furniture crayon to cover the marks and get on with life. $20 well spent.
     
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  10. markson

    markson Well-Known Member

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    Got a photo to show us how bad these scratches actually are?
     
  11. kitdoctor

    kitdoctor Well-Known Member

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    They also have an obligation to take reasonable care of the property they rent.

    Also, the lease also had a special condition about ensuring that appropriate precautions were taken to protect the floorboards.

    As for life I'm retiring in 12 months at age 52 all thanks to property and a long-term plan. Sunnie Coast, acreage and a big shed bring it on.
     
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  12. #house

    #house Active Member

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    You want to seek costs over 3 scratches? I wouldn't bother. You could easily end up at the tribunal. Your future tenants won't mind at all.

    Timber veneer floorboards have a limited life anyway. They are thin and have a soft underlay, I'd never use them in a rental. All it takes is one small piece of grit to get under a chair leg and it will cut right through the veneer - with or without felt pads. Once the varnish wears through they normally have to be tossed anyway as you normally can't sand them back.

    Back in my rental days I rented a place which had veneer floorboards and they were already showing marks at the start. Throughout our 2 year tenancy the high traffic areas (kitchen, hallway) wore through. Noted to be a wear and tear issue - no concerns.
     
  13. dabbler

    dabbler Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, would not worry too much unless your going to live there yourself, just re rent it and when you go to sell do it if it really is bad enough, otherwise let new owners choose own style of flooring.

    One of the joys of property let out to others. They won't likely find in your favor if you decide to push it.