Glass panel holder - Tenant caused damage

Discussion in 'Repairs & Maintenance' started by JayM, 13th Jun, 2019.

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  1. JayM

    JayM Member

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    Hi all,

    Still new to some aspects of being a landlord after almost 2 years but I know I can rely on the broader knowledge of this forum.

    Property manager got back to me with a request for repairs for the holders of a glass panel, as per attached picture, in one of the bathrooms.

    This hasn't come in any previous inspection report and I don't deem this tear and wear so as far as I can tell this is indeed tenant caused damage.

    A typical visit for a trades person starts around $100 these days and wall need to be repaired so I'm weighing whether I'm being too picky (I doubt) or whether it is ok to suck it up to keep tenant happy, up until this they have maintained the property in good shape.

    What's your take on this?


    PS. Other than this, I'm prompt to act on repairs and maintenance not only for this property as they arise, Cooling, power points, doos knobs, etc.
     

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  2. Propertunity

    Propertunity Exclusive Real Estate Buyers Agent Business Member

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    It might largely depend on whether or not those metal holders were/are fixed into the timber wall stud (does not look like it) or just held into the gyprock with nylon wall anchors (pictured), which it looks like it could be.
    upload_2019-6-13_11-20-7.png

    If so, can this set up hold the weight of the glass shelf and whatever items are put on said shelf or not? I suspect not.

    Or, as you alluded to, is one of the tenants climbing on it or swinging off it?

    Either way, I suspect it it will be a LL problem, unless the tenant admits liability. I had a tenant once who climbed up a toilet bowl and then the cistern to see out the bathroom window. This pulled the cistern off the wall (like your glass shelf). This tenant was honest (or stupid?) enough to admit it was his fault - so tenants paid for the repair.
     
    Last edited: 13th Jun, 2019
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  3. wylie

    wylie Moderator Staff Member

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    This sort of damage looks like they've put too much weight on the glass shelf, but perhaps a glass shelf isn't the right sort of storage?

    If this is above a vanity, and it was my place, I'd install something completely different, a stronger shelf or cabinet that hides that damage, adds better (and safer) storage and that means it isn't a repair, but an improvement.
     
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  4. Marg4000

    Marg4000 Well-Known Member

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    Looks as if it was never properly attached in the first place.

    You can hardly blame a tenant for placing items on a shelf.
    Marg
     
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  5. thatbum

    thatbum Well-Known Member

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    The legal test for tenant liability for damage is that it was done intentionally or negligently.

    Negligent usually means that they did something that a reasonable person shouldn't have done.

    So the first question should be - how did the tenants break it? And then - was what they were doing unreasonable?

    As mentioned above, if its just putting items on a shelf, its hard to see how that was negligent.
     
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  6. neK

    neK Well-Known Member

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    Doesn’t look it like was attached properly in the first place.
     
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  7. JayM

    JayM Member

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    Thanks all for your input.

    It is interesting to see different opinions.

    Definitely the glass panel holders were attached using nylon wall anchors and they were holding fine for more than 2 years we lived there, not sure how people conclude they were not properly attached.

    I know things like towel hangers, toilet roll dispensers and even mounts for clothes hanger rods are mounted directly to plasterboard and I have yet to see those falling under normal circumstances. I can see those pull the plasterboard but in my view it is excess weight, or excessive force. I agree though it could be difficult to demonstrate negligence not to mention it could be an expensive exercise.

    As Mrs suggested probably the best way is just to repair the wall and forget about reinstalling any panel at all.
     
  8. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    Fixtures which are designed to hold any reasonable load should be fixed to studs not to plasterboard. Plasterboard has little structural integrity (it's made of plaster and paper).
     
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  9. wylie

    wylie Moderator Staff Member

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    I would not put a towel hanger or anything else into plasterboard and expect it not to fail.

    If you plan on having the plaster fixed, which will require a repaint as well, wouldn't it be more economical to place some sort of larger shelf or cabinet over the damaged wall, provide more storage and choose a cabinet with a back that allows it to be attached to a stud behind the plaster?
     
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  10. neK

    neK Well-Known Member

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    Alternatively, cut open that section of plasterboard, attach some timber to the stud work, then you're free to drill wherever you need to (in the section you attached the additional timber), then put a new piece of plasterboard up and patch it all up nicely.
     
  11. bunkai

    bunkai Well-Known Member

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    To be fair, I think it is highly probable that the tenant pulled on the shelf - very easy to do if it is up high as it seems to be. They would have to have been storing bricks on the narrow glass bathroom shelf to pull it off otherwise.

    I think it is very reasonable to say that the tenant did not take due care. The Mrs is right - I'd suggest that instead of paying for replacement, you will just fill the holes.