Tenant Wishes to Fix Damages once moved out

Discussion in 'Property Management' started by funkychickendancer, 19th May, 2020.

Join Australia's most dynamic and respected property investment community
  1. funkychickendancer

    funkychickendancer Active Member

    Joined:
    4th Dec, 2016
    Posts:
    36
    Location:
    Sydney
    My tenant has vacated the property and upon final inspection I have discovered two significant burn marks on the counter benchtops that were previously brand new.

    I have received a quote to fix the benchtops for $1100, this includes removing the benchtop and repairing the splashback as a result of the removal. I have asked the tenant for $400 from the bond to go towards this repair.

    The tenant has now advised that her father does kitchens for a living and wants to repair the marks. My concern is that the father tries to sand back the benchtop and varnish it again then this doesn't work. The bench top will be left in worse condition. On the other hand if he tries to replace the entire thing it will obviously be the cheapest way possible.

    If her father ruins anything during the repair is she still liable / am I able to retain the bond? or will I need to go through the builder and this turns into a nightmare civil job! I would rather just go with a builder that I trust, the area is a lower socio economic demographic too so the tradesman isn't going to be the best quality.
     
  2. Archaon

    Archaon Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    20th Mar, 2017
    Posts:
    1,849
    Location:
    Newcastle
    Why wouldn't the tenant be liable for the total amount of repairs?
    What does your property manager say?
    Who is going to cover the loss of rent whilst you wait for her father to come and fix it?
    Who will pay if they damage it further and delay you getting new tenants in, and you go longer without rent?
    Do you have Landlord insurance?
     
    datto, wylie, Lindsay_W and 1 other person like this.
  3. Lindsay_W

    Lindsay_W Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    1st Jul, 2015
    Posts:
    2,456
    Location:
    QLD
    No way, this has the potential to make the situation worse for you IMO
     
    Stoffo and wylie like this.
  4. spludgey

    spludgey Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    18th Jun, 2015
    Posts:
    2,574
    Location:
    Sydney
    Completely agree with all those questions!
    If the tenant's dad does kitchens, why didn't he fix this before moving out?
     
  5. MB18

    MB18 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    25th Sep, 2018
    Posts:
    548
    Location:
    NT
    It doesnt really matter who she gets to fix it.

    She is taking on the responsibly, so its either fixed (problem solved) or its not (usual damages procedure applies).

    If there is an issue with the repair, it's up to her to seek recourse through however she engages to do the repair.

    I do believe that you have to give the tenant an opportunity to rectify any issues on vacating, although that is based solely on what my PM has advised me previously. Makes sense however.
     
  6. Phoenix Pete

    Phoenix Pete Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    1st Jul, 2016
    Posts:
    220
    Location:
    PM - Sydney NSW
    SPOT ON !!!
     
  7. Phoenix Pete

    Phoenix Pete Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    1st Jul, 2016
    Posts:
    220
    Location:
    PM - Sydney NSW
    Your PM is giving you incorrect advice.

    An owner or managing agent does not HAVE TO give the tenant an opportunity to rectify. There is nowhere in the Residential Tenancies Act that says it is a requirement.

    It's one of the biggest myths in residential tenancy.

    Of course, if the items requiring repair or cleaning are minor, then it's good sense to let the tenant back in... but keep in mind that the tenant is no longer a tenant once possession is surrendered to the owner or managing agent. The legal status of the tenant changes completely.
     
    craigc, Lil Skater and Lindsay_W like this.
  8. spludgey

    spludgey Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    18th Jun, 2015
    Posts:
    2,574
    Location:
    Sydney
    Yes, and you might be liable if they injure themselves why working in your apartment. Plus they wouldn't have liability insurance.
    I would actually potentially consider letting the tenant's dad do it if he provided a quote for $0 on a company letterhead and had the right insurances.
     
    Mat and Archaon like this.
  9. funkychickendancer

    funkychickendancer Active Member

    Joined:
    4th Dec, 2016
    Posts:
    36
    Location:
    Sydney
    -My property manager is pretty bad, but I'm not exactly spoilt for choice in that area. She is basically comfortable with whatever I want to do
    -It is currently advertised for rent, but yes if the works take longer I'm in trouble!
    -Exactly..
    -Yes I do, I could make a claim with LL insurance for the bench.

    Great points to consider..
     
  10. funkychickendancer

    funkychickendancer Active Member

    Joined:
    4th Dec, 2016
    Posts:
    36
    Location:
    Sydney
    Yeah, I have been asking myself the same question
     
  11. MB18

    MB18 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    25th Sep, 2018
    Posts:
    548
    Location:
    NT
    The scenario was purely hypothetical as I was the tenant returning keys and I asked 'what if....'.
    I had not previously heard of a requirement to allow access if anything had needed doing so perhaps it is simply a policy or courtesy of some PMs / Agencies.
    I guess for something fairly minor such as cleaning a bathroom mirror etc it may be easier to get the tenant back than arranging a cleaner, making a claim on the bond, having it disputed etc etc.
     
  12. MB18

    MB18 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    25th Sep, 2018
    Posts:
    548
    Location:
    NT
    If the repair is not to standard however the disupte potentially shifts from the landlord-tenant to the landlord-repairer.

    If the OP simply says gives the tennant the opportunity to make good on the repair, and the repair is not to standard, then that is the tenants problem and the status quo remains - the tenant is liable for the damged bechtops.

    That the tenant is related to the person doing the repair is irrelevant. It would have been far easier for them to say 'I do not agree with your quote, I will arrange for it to be repaired myself'. You would then claim on the bond if it wasn't.
     
  13. spludgey

    spludgey Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    18th Jun, 2015
    Posts:
    2,574
    Location:
    Sydney
    Absolutely, but if it's a reputable company, there's much more at stake for them than for the landlord. The landlord is risking $1100 (let's assume anything else they could stuff up is covered by warranty), the company is risking tens of thousands of dollars in lost revenue. One person that is really out to give negative feedback can make a massive difference to a company!
     
  14. MB18

    MB18 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    25th Sep, 2018
    Posts:
    548
    Location:
    NT
    Depends to what degree the OP wants to get involved, or whether he/she just wants the problem fixed.

    They wont be able to go after the bond if the repair is botched and the OP has endorsed the repairer.

    I would give the tennant the ok to have it fixed by whoever/however they like and claim on the bond if it isint to standard.
     
  15. funkychickendancer

    funkychickendancer Active Member

    Joined:
    4th Dec, 2016
    Posts:
    36
    Location:
    Sydney
    Am I able to claim on the bond if it isn't to standard though?

    What if he rips the bench top off. Replaces it and the splashback is still damaged or he can't replace the tiles correctly. Its such a finnicky job, lots can go wrong.
     
  16. Archaon

    Archaon Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    20th Mar, 2017
    Posts:
    1,849
    Location:
    Newcastle
    Just because he "does kitchens" doesn't mean he can tile, etc.
    Also consider this, if you get the repairs done through insurance, reputable company does the job, warranty on all work completed.
    Or if your excess is too high, any repairs you complete would be deductible in the year you accrue them and should be available from the bond as well, though I dont know for sure on that point. As well as warranty on repairs etc.

    Tenants dad fixes it, no warranty, no insurance, could get injured in your property, no agreements in place, no contracts undertaken, could put yourself in strife if anything goes wrong. Also risk of poor job, stuff up more than just the bench top.

    Wide berth is what i would go with.
     
  17. Paul@PFI

    [email protected] Tax Accounting + SMSF Business Plus Member

    Joined:
    18th Jun, 2015
    Posts:
    15,124
    Location:
    Sydney
    Simple answer. No. Tribunal wont care. They had ample time to remedy this and vacated. The lease says the bond goes towards it. Who cares if the father is a artisan cabinet maker. Daughter is still a dipstick.

    If the father submits a valid quote and its free then you will accept his trade quote (indicating licensing and ABN) if he can immediately perform the repair and issue a $0 invoice for the work.
     
  18. MB18

    MB18 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    25th Sep, 2018
    Posts:
    548
    Location:
    NT
    If it's not to standard then its still damaged, and you should he able to make a claim on the bond. Of course if there is a dispute as to whether it's to standard is no different yo arguing whether its damaged in the first place.

    Of course it could be a shoddy job, but so could anyone you call in anyway. How will you deal with that?

    Probably easier to claim they ruined the thing and despite best efforts wasnt repaired and claim the bond. You can then chance another repairer as you are otherwise going to have to do anyway