Tenant Damages My Property
It is said hope for the best prepare for the worst. So, when you rent out your flat, villa, or other property, no one can guarantee your property is in safe. In other words, chances are your tenant could damage your property or even destroy it. Of course, you can minimize this risk when you select your tenants by properly screening them, but still, you will have it.
So, what to do if your tenant destroyed your property? First of all, you need to evaluate the scale of damage. Then, you can claim your tenant to compensate for it. By the way, one of the tools that enable you to make your tenants pay for the damage they caused is a security deposit. So, do not neglect the security deposit when signing your lease. If the sum of the damage exceeds your security deposit but your tenants refuse to pay the excess, you can file a case with Rental Dispute Center.
At last, remember, the article (25) of Law No. 33 of 2008 enables you to evict your tenants if they damaged your property.
Who’s responsible for fixing damage depends on who caused it
Typically, the link between the cause and responsibilities is direct. To clarify, one who is to blame for damaging another one’s property or chattels shall fix the issue or pay for this. It means that if a tenant breaks down any landlord’s belongings, he must pay for its repair. But it also means that a tenant is not responsible for the damage caused by reasons that he can’t control:
- Burglar and thieves;
- Storms and other natural disasters;
- Normal wear and tear.
However, when it comes to rental relationships, there are some peculiarities in the rule of responsibility. The case is, rental relationships assume a landlord, handing his property over for temporary use by his tenant, deals directly and only with his tenants. Therefore, a person stated in your tenancy agreement is fully liable for the property damage he or his surroundings caused. In other words, no matter whether a tenant himself caused the damage or his family members, relatives, friends, or any other his guests did this; he must be responsible for rectifying the issue. Besides, his tenancy responsibilities are not limited to intentional damage but to careless one as well.
Intentional damage refers to the damage caused directly by the actions of your tenants or their surroundings. Here are a few examples of intentional damage they could cause:
- They forgot to turn on a stove and it burned out;
- They flushed garbage and other stuff and got your drain pipe clogged;
- Their pets chewed or scratched the floor coating;
- Their children jumped on the bed and broke it;
- Their guests started fighting and crushed the furniture.
In all these cases and cases similar to these, the person stated in your tenancy agreement is responsible for the damage. Therefore, he must compensate for your expenses on repairs.
Careless damage often treats as damage due to tenant’s gross negligence, his non-acting. In other words, a tenant was supposed to take proper precautions to prevent the issue, but didn’t carry it out.
For example, a tenant noticed strange and unusual noise that came from a boiler. In that case, he should have reported the issue to his landlord and limited boiler usage. However, the tenant ignored the issue and continued using the boiler without any limitations. Thus, if a boiler will break down, the damage will be classified as careless and the tenant must be responsible for this damage. Another example of careless damage is a tenant falling asleep with a smoldering cigar and, thus, causing a fire.
Fair wear and tear
The article (21) of LAW NO. 26 of 2007 states a tenant is not responsible for normal wear and tear. In other words, a landlord has no right to claim his tenant to rectify any breakage of his furniture or appliance for heating, cooking, cooling, and freezing if it is caused by normal wear and tear.
So, what is normal wear and tear? To answer this question we would like to emphasize every appliance, piece of furniture, and spare part has its own lifespan. That is to say, nothing can last forever. So, every time your tenants use the unit, the last experiences physical deterioration. Moreover, physical deterioration may even occur due to aggressive environment impact.
Here are some examples of normal wear and tear:
- Carpets wear out while one steps on it;
- Cushioned furniture covering wears out while one sits on it;
- Range and oven spare parts wear and tear during cooking;
- An air con deteriorates whilst cooling the premise.
- Pipes begin leaking as their fitting seals shrivel.
So, in short, fair wear and tear is unit deterioration that occurs due to the simple fact of using it whilst following its manuals and user guide.
At BSO, we understand how much trouble the tenant could cause. But we are well equipped with knowledge, experience, and tools to solve these problems. So, sign a property management contract with us, and we will do our best to prevent you from any worries your rental business could cause.