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Do I or the Tenant pay for this?

Discussion in 'Property Management' started by Kael, 27th Jun, 2015.

  1. Kael

    Kael Well-Known Member

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    Hi all.

    I recently got my monthly rent statement from my PM agency and there was an invoice on there to "supply and install new door handle to the read bedroom closet" (the built-in). My tenant has been living in this property for over two years now, she has 4 kids. I'm just curious as to what everyone thinks about this. Should I be paying for the new door handle or should the tenant?

    It was only a small amount of $50, but I'm worried these sort of things could continue to happen, so would love to hear other peoples opinions.
     
  2. Nick Valsamis

    Nick Valsamis Real Estate Professional

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    It's not an urgent issue so there is no reason they couldn't notify you before you got the statement.

    But it would be put down to wear and tear and be the owners responsibility to replace.
    If you can determine that the tenant damaged the door handle then they would be liable to pay the cost.
     
  3. Chilliblue

    Chilliblue Well-Known Member

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    Wear this one but advise the pm that all future invoices are to detail an explanation of the works and a images before and after.
     
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  4. thatbum

    thatbum Well-Known Member

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    The question to answer is "Did the tenant intentionally or negligently cause the damage?" - If so, then they are liable.
     
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  5. Be Developer

    Be Developer Property Developer Business Member

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    @Kael

    Welcome to grey area of Property Management!
     
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  6. Kael

    Kael Well-Known Member

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    That's what I was thinking... haha.

    Thanks everyone for your replies!
     
  7. Hanison

    Hanison Well-Known Member

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    Had this same issue with a property I own.

    There isn't any clear way to define whether or not the tenant has caused the damage or its wear and tear.
    Although the property at the time was only 3 years old and I suspect the kids may have been hanging off the door handles to cause damage.

    Just had to cop it on the chin and move on.
     
  8. thatbum

    thatbum Well-Known Member

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    I completely disagree with this. I don't understand what's so hard about the test I quoted earlier.

    If its negligence that you're having trouble defining, then there's two ways to test for it:

    1. Did the tenant do something that a reasonable person shouldn't have done, which led to the damage?

    OR

    2. Did the tenant fail to do something that a reasonable person should have done, which led to the damage?

    Its honestly not that grey.
     
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  9. wylie

    wylie Moderator Staff Member

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    The grey bit would be trying to find out or prove how it happened.
     
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  10. Pistonbroke

    Pistonbroke Well-Known Member

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    It broke, how long was the warranty?

    Kids never break anything nor do tenants - it must've been a failure of the landlord to maintain.
     
  11. Big Daddy

    Big Daddy Well-Known Member

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    Causality must be established using the test of necessity for a negligent tort.

    But for the tenants not using the door handle would the door handle have broken?;);)
     
  12. Kael

    Kael Well-Known Member

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    How do you prove that the tenant did something that a reasonable person shouldn't have done though? :/

    It's all good though, happy to wear the cost but if it happens again, then I'll know somethings up and will dispute.
     
  13. DiligentPM

    DiligentPM Well-Known Member Business Member

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    It is important to request the PM to explore what the cause of the broken door handle was - it is important to initially establish the cause of the issue to (1) identify who is responsible to pay and (2) discuss safeguards to minimise opportunities for similar issues to happen again. Once liability is established either the owner pays the cost of repair or the tenant is invoiced for the cost.
     
  14. thatbum

    thatbum Well-Known Member

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    You need some evidence that they did something wrong. If you don't have any, then you either won't be able to prove otherwise, or maybe they didn't do anything wrong in the first place.

    Personally a broken door handle doesn't jump out at me as being tenant negligence. Any reason you suspect it is?
     
  15. Perp

    Perp Well-Known Member

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    You forgot that "but for" is followed by "the negligent act". ;) I don't think using a door handle constitutes a negligent act. :)
     
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  16. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    Whats a "butt for"?
     
  17. Perp

    Perp Well-Known Member

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    Depends entirely on who you ask.
     
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  18. Kael

    Kael Well-Known Member

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    It's very possible they didn't do anything wrong - I wasn't sure though.

    Reasons to suspect is that the house is only 4 years old, also is that during the last inspection, they'd removed a door (looked as though it had broken off, but they stated they removed it and would put it back on), there was a hole in a wall, etc. I'm of the opinion that the tenants aren't looking after the property. In saying that, I wouldn't chase after this repair cost unless it happened again.
     
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  19. Patsy

    Patsy Member

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    Door off, hole in the wall ? I'm getting alarm bells, how long between inspections ? I would advise PM that in future, you are consulted for any requests for non urgent repairs before they are carried out to assess cause and the tenants put in writing such requests and cause, ie faulty, just wear and tear. I would also be requesting more regular inspections.
     
  20. Kael

    Kael Well-Known Member

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    Aren't you only allowed to do an inspection once every 6 months (or something along those lines)? I can't really get the tenant in trouble for being messy, and during the last inspection, when the door was off, the tenant stated they'd put it back on before we could even say anything to them. But yeah, I'm keeping an eye on it for those issues.