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Wear and Tear or Tenants need to pay

Discussion in 'Property Management' started by Anne11, 26th Jun, 2015.

  1. Anne11

    Anne11 Well-Known Member

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    Hi All,

    My relatively new kitchen ( over 4 year old) bench top (made out of quartz composite) near the cooktop has a crack about 30 cm long, would that be considered wear and tear or tenants are liable ?

    Given it is quite new, I think it would be more likely caused by tenants.

    Would appreciate your opinion on this. The repair cost ( which does not guarantee that it would stop the crack further) would be between $400 -$520. Would you repair it or leave it ?

    I have asked them to pay and they said it would be wear and tear and not willing to pay.

    Thank a lot,

    Anne
     
  2. Jamie_

    Jamie_ Well-Known Member

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    Have you tried to go down the warranty path yet? It shouldn't "crack" from wear and tear. It's either a faulty top, maybe the join was put in a terrible spot, or it's negligent damage (i.e. is there a downlight or globe above it) They don't crack from wear and tear.
    most composite stone/engineered stones such as Ceasarstone, Essastone, Quantum Quartz etc etc will all have 10 years warranty and it is VERY rare that they will have a crack that isn't negligent.

    Will be hard to prove though
     
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  3. Anne11

    Anne11 Well-Known Member

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    Thank you Jamie.

    No light above it and it is about 25 cms to the gas cook top. (photo attached).

    I have not tried the warranty path as I think the builder imported it from China, plus the builder has gone bankrupted ( overcommitted projects). I was thinking about claiming insurance, but the excess would be higher than the repair cost.

    It is a dilemma.
     

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  4. Nick Valsamis

    Nick Valsamis Well-Known Member

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    It's very unlikely for the bench top to crack by itself.

    Not sure if that is the original condition but judging by the bad condition of the cooktop and wall tile, I would put it down to tenant damage.

    If they don't want to pay to fix it, then claim it from their bond when they move.
     
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  5. rhinsor

    rhinsor Well-Known Member

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    Is the crack on the underside of the benchtop?
    Very hard to prove a tenant caused that damage.
    Also what's with the grout on the tiles, it looks wet.
     
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  6. Anne11

    Anne11 Well-Known Member

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    Yes, i can feel the crack underneath on the other side of the benchtop. For the wall title they put clingwrap on it so the oil/food does not get to the wall.

    Thank you for you reply Rhinsor and Nick.

    If they dispute the cost of repair now, would I still be able to claim from their bond without having to go to the Tribunal? ( i manage the property myself).

    Regards,

    Anne
     
  7. Perp

    Perp Well-Known Member

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    Strikes me as poor materials and/or poor workmanship installing it.

    In order to lay it at the tenant's feet, you're at least going to have to have a theory as to how they caused it. That doesn't seem to exist yet. What on earth do people think the tenants could possibly have done to cause this?

    Then - even harder - you're going to have to demonstrate that that's what the tenants did.

    Seriously, landlords: properties need maintaining. Things break. You select the materials and installer; you can't put every single maintenance item back on tenants.
     
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  8. robboat

    robboat Well-Known Member

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    Agree with perp.....

    Is there a chance that the tenant has placed a really hot pot on that location and the benchtop has cracked?
    Or is there a reason that they would stand exactly on this spot - say to clean an exhaust/extractor vent?

    But it does look like a weak support underneath as well - may have been cracked when installed and the crack has travelled with use...?

    But it does not fix the issue.....and you may end up paying.
     
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  9. DaveM

    DaveM Adelaide Buyers Agent & KFC Strategist Business Member

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    Thats a 40mm edge profile (2 x 20mm pieces laminated). The benchtop is siliconed or cemented to the top of the cabinetry, and a 20mm packer installed on the rear of the cabinetry.

    To have cracked the benchtop like that as well as all the way through the lamination, the benchtop has been subject to stresses way outside normal tolerances. I would say its either been hot panned or hit with incredible force. My bet is on hot pan given its proximity to the cooktop. Its too far for radiant heat from the cooktop itself.

     
    Last edited: 27th Jun, 2015
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  10. Marg4000

    Marg4000 Well-Known Member

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    Any dispute over the bond will go to the tribunal for a decision. The bond is held in trust and you simply can't decide to keep some of it unless the tenant agrees, which sounds unlikely.

    From the photo, it looks to me like an inferior product has been used and the crack is following a weakness. Without concrete evidence you will have a hard time proving the tenant did anything wrong.

    Your best chance of recourse would lie with the builder or, if bankrupt, the product supplier.
    Marg
     
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  11. Anne11

    Anne11 Well-Known Member

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    I just found out there is another small crack on the separate bench top near the sink (it's a two pack kitchen). Attached photo.

    So i think it could be the product is not a high quality product, howerver i do think the tenants use the kitchen without adequate care ( which is hard to prove). They do use a cast iron pot and might have left the hot pot there after cooking.

    From the advices above i think i will have to cope with the cost.

    Thank you evryone for your sound advice. Much appreciated.

    Anne
     

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  12. 274

    274 Member

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    My SIL and her hubby found a problem with their house when it was about 2 years old. The builder had gone bust, but QBSA covered the warranty. Maybe the same would apply here??
     
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  13. PrG

    PrG Active Member

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    If the tenants did not cause the crack, they should have told the real estate agent when it appeared.
     
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  14. Pistonbroke

    Pistonbroke Well-Known Member

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    Did someone stand on the benchtop?
     
  15. Anne11

    Anne11 Well-Known Member

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    I could not tell. I think it was more like they put the hotpot on the bench.

    Thanks,

    Anne
     
  16. Anne11

    Anne11 Well-Known Member

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    Thank you 274, i will check it out.
     
  17. Lil Skater

    Lil Skater Well-Known Member Business Member

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    How about something heavy dropping on it?

    Near the cooktop and near the sink, all you'd need was a heavy pan and it wouldn't surprise me if it cracked. Otherwise, poor quality or installation is likely too.
     
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  18. Big Will

    Big Will Well-Known Member

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    I would say it is hard to prove the tenant caused the damage and for $400 for the repair it might be easier to make a note and then see if further damage is caused and claim more.

    If they are a good tenant (besides this) and pay on time, would you also risk asking them for money now when they might stay for 5 years? In another 5 years you would of easily made your money on it.
     
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  19. Anne11

    Anne11 Well-Known Member

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    I have thought about it too and have been sitting on it, not so keen on the repair either as they can't guarantee what it won't crack further. I now consider this as part of having a rental. When i check the ATO depreciation the kitchen is classified as building and therefore has 40 years to depreciate, not sure if the kitchen would last that long. They are good tenants, in term of paying rent and not causing trouble, however, they could be careless. If i was to live there, even if the kitchen is not of good quality, the bench top might not have cracked.

    Thank you Big Will.
     
  20. Big Will

    Big Will Well-Known Member

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    All good, yes it is annoying but I just feel you have more to lose than to gain and the case isn't 100% they caused it. If it went to QCAT they will likely take the tenants side, remember you are a money hungry landlord who has millions of dollars to blow and they are the poor aussie battler living paycheck to paycheck...