Tenant accident - like for like

Discussion in 'Property Management' started by $uperman, 21st May, 2020.

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  1. $uperman

    $uperman Member

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    Hi all,

    I am a tenant in WA. I have accidentally broken the ceramic work top by knocking it with a pan (I’m so upset it happened!). This is a used Smeg cook top, I’m not sure it’s age but the markings are worn away.

    It needs to be replaced. I have looked and a brand new hop is $1700/1800! The agent says I need to replace like for like; “the owner will want the same Smeg again”. I have enquired about paying the excess on the landlords insurance but the agent doesn’t seem keen on me doing so.

    I don’t know where I stand for a replacement. Do I have to buy a brand new hob to replace an old, used hob, or find a suitable used replacement?

    If I can’t find a used one similar what are my options?

    I don’t see why I need to replace with a brand new hob as I didn’t break a brand new hob.

    any assistance appreciated.
     
    Pingu1988 likes this.
  2. Joynz

    Joynz Well-Known Member

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    Is the cook top still usable?

    Maybe post a photo.
     
  3. $uperman

    $uperman Member

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    Yes it still work fine. The crack does not run through the element. It is just damage to the glass. 1040CD52-98EF-43A3-A1FD-EA1383CAABF2.jpeg 3F35665E-0467-47F1-8A7C-280C221E1D8F.jpeg
     
  4. Elives

    Elives Well-Known Member

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    Can you call smeg directly ask for a service agent maybe they can just replace the glass part of the cooktop? surely would be cheaper for you.
     
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  5. wylie

    wylie Moderator Staff Member

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    I would never expect any tenant to replace an old cooktop with a brand new one. I'd be tempted to swap it out for an Ikea one. If the owner wants brand new Smeg, then your offer to pay the excess and he claims it on his insurance is more than fair.

    Perhaps I'm too soft, but I believe your offer to pay the excess is more than fair. And expecting you to pay $1700 for what was an accident is something I'd never do, especially for something that is not in best condition anyway. If you were my tenant, I'd be very thankful that you'd offered to pay the excess.
     
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  6. Westminster

    Westminster Tigress at Tiger Developments Business Member

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    To be absolutely honest I don't think you need to actually do anything. Accidently putting a chip in it would be classified as fair wear and tear. You have very kindly offered to assist financially and I can't believe the PM is suggesting that you should buy them a brand new Smeg hotplate - that is terrible of them.

    If you really feel terrible about it, I'd look on gumtree for a similar second hand one and get that installed or see if there is someone who is able to repair it but under no circumstances should you be asked to buy a new one when it's a chip and it still works.
     
  7. Joynz

    Joynz Well-Known Member

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    You could probably glue the chip back in!
     
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  8. Noobieboy

    Noobieboy Well-Known Member

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    I wouldn’t install a new one. That could potentially invite a whole heap of complaints from the owner in regards to the condition or quality.

    I think your offer to pay the excess is more than sufficient. I would enquire about the excess as well and not contribute more than $400.

    This is especially true if otherwise I have been a great tenant, paying on time and looking after property.
    It’s possible that the owner doesn’t even know what happened and the PM is, in my view, being unreasonable.
     
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  9. NedKelly

    NedKelly Well-Known Member

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  10. Michael Mitchell

    Michael Mitchell Brisbane Property Manager Business Member

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    Generally, Lessor/Agent has an obligation to reduce a tenants risk/cost, in this case for example, if the Lessor has insurance, and the cheaper option is for you to pay the excess on the policy if applicable, they should be allowing you to do this. Failing that, principal of betterment applies - you don't go replacing a 10yo cook top with a brand new one, you pay the depreciated equivalent and you welcome xCAT to determine what that amount actually is if the Lessor/Agent will not be reasonable in their calculations / reject your proposal. Just the way the game works.
     
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  11. datto

    datto Well-Known Member

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    I wouldn’t have said a thing about it. Probably just glued it and covered it during inspections.

    who knows in a few years time the whole cook top might need replacing anyway.

    Any reasonable landlord like myself wouldn’t worry about it for a good long term tenant.
     
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  12. $uperman

    $uperman Member

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    Thanks for the responses. I am going to ask a specialist for their opinion on repairing the glass. The hob works fine and the element close to the crack is not exposed. I thought it was best to let the PM know about it ASAP, the response however has been 3 weeks.

    I do not understand the reluctance to explore the option of paying excess on the insurance. Any tips on how I should respond to the PM?
     
  13. bunkai

    bunkai Well-Known Member

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    As a LL, insurance is my risk mitigation strategy not the tenant. I wouldn't be planning on claiming for minor events and may have a much higher excess than you may otherwise expect. I also don't want a loading on my premiums due to minor tenant claims.

    When you think about it. The LL insurer should pursue the tenant for the costs.

    And as a tenant you can include accidental damage like this on your contents policy....

    ( I also wouldn't be asking you to pay for a whole new cooktop though)
     
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  14. Joynz

    Joynz Well-Known Member

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    Is the cooktop the tenants contents though? I would think not.

    Also it’s fixed to the bench so I would have thought it’s not considered ‘contents’ anyway?
     
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  15. shorty

    shorty Well-Known Member

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    Yep. Why would a tenant insure the landlord's possessions?
     
  16. bunkai

    bunkai Well-Known Member

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    The tenant can insure themselves for the liability to the landlord should they break the cooktop glass (I think the coverage was under accidental damage - glass).
     
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  17. Tom Rivera

    Tom Rivera Property Manager Business Member

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    This is a really hard one because there's no obvious solution.

    1. Replace with equivalent used Smeg.
    Good luck finding one.

    2. Replace with brand new cheapie.
    Arguably reducing amenity with a poorer quality item.

    3. Replace with a brand new Smeg.
    Not fair to replace quite old with brand new, particularly given its likely to be fully depreciated.

    4. Pay Landlords Insurance excess.
    This will affect Landlords premiums and the insurer may come after you for the cost anyway.

    5. Repair glass.
    If it can be properly and inconspicuously repaired, this seems appropriate, thought the Landlord may whine that its still cracked.

    6. Share cost of replacing with new Smeg.
    Sounds like this Landlord wouldn't consider paying a portion of a new like-for-like stovetop, but it's a legitimate option.
    ________________________________________________________________________

    I personally think your best option is to repair if possible. Any other option would have to be negotiated, and it sounds like you're already running into roadblocks there. Realistically WCAT is not going to award them the cost of full replacement, but you may consider how this situation is going to affect their amenability to your continued tenancy?
     
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  18. $uperman

    $uperman Member

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    I personally think your best option is to repair if possible. Any other option would have to be negotiated, and it sounds like you're already running into roadblocks there. Realistically WCAT is not going to award them the cost of full replacement, but you may consider how this situation is going to affect their amenability to your continued tenancy?[/QUOTE]

    Thanks for the summary. What is WCAT?
     
  19. Westminster

    Westminster Tigress at Tiger Developments Business Member

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    Thanks for the summary. What is WCAT?[/QUOTE]

    In all other states the court that handles it is SomethingCAT. So in NSW it's NCAT, in Vic its VCAT and QLD it's QCAT. WA doesn't follow this rule and ours is just called SAT (State Administrative Tribunal) and that is where tenant/landlord disputes are heard.
     
  20. Tom Rivera

    Tom Rivera Property Manager Business Member

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    Good to know! Thanks!