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Are tenants liable to pay for the damage?

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  • Are tenants liable to pay for the damage?

    Hello,

    The kitchen bench at my rental property has been damaged by the tenants, accidental or otherwise. It is a laminate bench top that has cracked right through at its narrowest part where the sink is installed. Are my tenants liable to pay for this damage or pay the excess of an insurance claim?

    I am continued to be disappointed by my Property Manager as he dances around these questions and basically just said "it is a difficult process to get tenants to pay for damage".

    I would like to know where I stand with the current law.

    Thank you!

  • #2
    Welcome to the forums!

    You've come to the right place Jman89 - we have a few PT posters that will more than provide you with the right information.

    Personally I agree with your PM it will be hard to prove the damage was more than accidental. If it was done with malicious intent then you could try your luck with the tenancy tribunal. However as said - you'll get more replies from those in the know.

    cheers,

    Donna
    SEARCH PropertyTalk, About PropertyTalk

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    • #3
      probably someone stood on the bench

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      • #4
        So your property management company must have taken photos of the property before the tenants moved in. If so, check the photos. If the photos show a kitchen bench in good order; then yes the tenants are liable and liability can be established.

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        • #5
          The Tenancy Services website says that if it is obviously not wear and tear, then the tenant has to prove it was not intentional or careless in order for them to not be responsible. Careless is usually the best option to use when claiming damage done by a tenant.
          If any damage occurs, it is for the landlord to prove that the damage is not fair wear and tear. Following this, the tenant must prove that the damage was either:
          • careless (and not intentional), or
          • neither careless nor intentional.

          If the damage is neither careless nor intentional, the tenant is not liable.

          https://www.tenancy.govt.nz/maintena...-who-caused-it
          Jeremy Barker
          Hamilton Property Management
          www.hamiltonpm.co.nz

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          • #6
            Claim under your insurance, its more than likely you will be able to get a whole new bench. Suck up the excess, you can't prove anything and not worth trying.

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