Tenants – Accidental Damage And How To Deal With It

All of us through life at one time or another are going to break or cause something to break. It is not intentional. There are certainly going to be times in a tenanted property’s life when it is going to suffer a few bumps and bruises.

The important thing, just like any damage such as storm damage, is to deal with it quickly.

Bunbury Real Estate adhere to the guidelines set down by the Residential Tenancies Authority, commonly known as the RTA.

Who Is Responsible for Arranging Repairs

We, as the agent in our managed tenancies, are responsible for the arrangement of any repairs being carried out. Only with our written permission should a tenant attempt to carry out or arrange any repairs themselves.

If the damage exceeds a certain value it may be possible to claim the repair bill on insurance. This will obviously still incur some sort of excess which will need to be paid. Whoever is deemed responsible for a given event must carry out these repairs within a reasonable time.

If either party deems this time has lapsed they may issue a Notice to Remedy Breach (Form 11)__ _which allows 7 days for the work to be completed. If the matter is still not resolved, it is advisable for both parties to come together to discuss the issue. If the issue remains unresolved, you may apply for a _Dispute Resolution.

Obviously, this last paragraph relates to extreme cases only and it is not considered a normal or regular situation within our ranks. During this time we honour and respect the Rules of Entry_ _although in extreme cases a tenant is more than happy to allow our repairers to be admitted.

What is Accidental Damage?

To make things crystal clear, we offer some examples of who is responsible for what. If a tenant is playing cricket in the backyard and hits the ball through the window – this is the tenant’s responsibility.

If a tree branch goes through the same window in a storm, even if the putty loosens up and the window falls out – this is the landlord’s responsibility. Having said that, often accidental broken glass, including shower glass, is covered under insurance.

If a tenant goes on a rampage and kicks holes in walls and doors, this is called malicious damage. Some insurance companies do not cover damage caused in this way.

We will address malicious damage in following posts.