What do you do when tenants damage your property? Or another question is, who should be responsible for the repairs? There will always be damages to property, either accidentally or intentionally, which can be caused either by tenants, guests, or even pets. Sometimes tenants will agree to pay for the repairs to whatever damage they might have caused, but more likely than not, they will take off, or argue that the cost of repairing their trashiness shouldn’t fall upon them. From the start, there should be some clearly defined guidelines on who should pay for what and who should have the repairs done. If you still don’t have that guide, here’s something you can use a basis:
The property manager, owner, or provider is responsible for keeping the property in good condition and fit for the tenant to live in. However, it is the tenant who is responsible for looking after the property and keeping it clean and undamaged as he or she will be spending most of the time in it anyway.
You should make it clear that your tenant should report to you any damage to furniture or fittings immediately. You then should both agree on how any replacement or repair is to be arranged and how payment will be made. In general though, if the tenant or their guest damages the property, they may have to pay for the repairs.
However, another concept to consider is wear and tear. If the damage to the property is a result of poor condition in the first place, then the property manager is responsible for paying. An example: If the tenant accidentally or intentionally breaks a window by throwing something through it, then they are responsible for the repairs. If a window breaks because the putty comes loose due to age without the tenant knowing about it, and the window falls out, then the property manager or owner will have to pay for the repairs.
If your tenant doesn’t tell you about the damage and replaces or repairs an item without your agreement, then you should be able to identify this when you come to check the inventory. So, a prerequisite to having a property rented is doing a thorough inventory right from the start. Have him or her pay for the damages thereafter. This will also help in checking furniture pieces, walls, windows, and doors that are in need of replacement.
What can the property manager do? The property manager or the landlord are actually responsible for carrying out any repairs from reported damages. Or, they can organize for someone to do so. As much as possible, the tenant or resident should not carry out the repair without written permission or without informing the property manager. It’s all about open communication, as you can see. There is no need to report a dispute if you follow these steps carefully.