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Got this friend....honest

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  • Got this friend....honest

    He has been sent a bill for some repair work done to his kitchen counter top...not huge $175.

    He has issues with paying, mainly because it was foisted upon him.

    I've told him he shouldn't have to pay for two main reasons.

    1. There was no agreement prior to the work being done that he was responsible, he says that most of the work done was fair wear and tear and there is absolutely no proof that the scorch marks were made by him as there has been previous tenants......he says he believes it wasn't him or his family but would concede that he was wrong if evidence was supplied (ie photos prior to the start of his tenancy)

    2. If it was agreed that he was responsible (it wasn't) he should be given the chance to organise repairs not just be presented with a bill.....ie he has no way of knowing if $175 is even fair, it might be a $10 repair to the contested bit and the landlord is trying to recoup the entire cost of the complete job.

    Soooooooo I would argue that the LL has to wear this one as there was no prior agreement and no proof that my mate is even responsible.....anybody else think other wise???

    Cheers
    Spaceman

  • #2
    Originally posted by spaceman View Post
    2. If it was agreed that he was responsible (it wasn't) he should be given the chance to organise repairs not just be presented with a bill.....ie he has no way of knowing if $175 is even fair, it might be a $10 repair to the contested bit and the landlord is trying to recoup the entire cost of the complete job.
    He has no right to repair the damage. He does have the right to contest the bill.
    www.3888444.co.nz
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    • #3
      I concur with Keys. This isn't a contractual situation, its tort.

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      • #4
        $10 repair??!! Where on earth do you get someone experienced and qualified to come in and make a repair for $10??? Get real!
        Can he prove that he didn't do the damage? What does his inspection report upon moving in say? Was a note made that there were existing marks to the benchtop upon him moving in?

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        • #5
          ^ LOLZ the $10 was just an example....not meant to be taken as gospel.

          The worker was there to do some other work that isn't in dispute and was paid for by the LL .....if the guy took a couple of minutes extra to do the extra disputed work on the counter top then the cost could certainly be much less than $175.

          My mate can't prove that he didn't do it.....not that he as to ....proving a negative is very difficult.....can you prove that you didn't do it???..............Absence of evidence isn't evidence of absence

          I've already said that he would concede if proof was given.....yet there has been none provided by the LL....just a bill which my mate disputes.

          Cheers
          Spaceman

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          • #6
            Has he vacated or were the repairs done mid-tenancy?

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            • #7
              He's still there......why???....does it make a difference??

              Cheers
              Spaceman

              Comment


              • #8
                Probably not but you would think if he was still there then there would have been a bit more communication on it. No chance given to rectify (or discuss) the 'issue'.

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                • #9
                  ^ The lack of communication is exactly why my mate feels aggrieved.....the job (in dispute) was done along with some other work with no notice or discussion and the bill presented as a fait accompli.

                  INMHO if you're intending to present a bill to your tenant you need to nut out the details first way more than was done in this case.

                  Cheers
                  Spaceman

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                  • #10
                    if the bill was small

                    as you state

                    is it worth the mucking around?

                    let's say a tenant breaks a window

                    LL arranges to have it replaced

                    tenant complains that 3 quotes weren't sought etc.

                    i think he just has to lump it

                    if you rent a car from hertz

                    damage it

                    you don't get to choose who fixes it

                    not your decision

                    why would this be?
                    have you defeated them?
                    your demons

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      If the tenant broke the window and the LL got it fixed the tenant knows that something needed doing, was done and expect a bill. If someone came around and 'fixed' the window because it was scratched badly then charged the tenant they would feel aggrieved as they had no imput to the process.
                      In the rental car example you would feel aggrieved if you returned the car and they decided it was damaged when you thought it wasn't (or the damage was pre-existing). They said it had a dent on the guard and charged you for a complete new guard.

                      I am inclined to agree with spaceman but feel discssion and compromise is the best option (rather than say - not paying a cent').

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Underlines the necessity of doing a property inspection and written, countersigned, report at the start of the tenancy.
                        Saves any disputes later.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by spaceman View Post
                          INMHO if you're intending to present a bill to your tenant you need to nut out the details first way more than was done in this case.

                          Cheers
                          Spaceman
                          I agree. If you know before the work is done that you intend to charge the tenant, it's only fair to tell them that in advance and have the argument first!

                          However if it only becomes apparent during the course of a repair that it was caused by the tenant, that's a different story.

                          I'd say your mate should ask for photos taken prior to his tenancy starting, but if there are none and no marks are recorded on the initial property inspection form done at the start of the tenancy, he's not in a good place. In which case I still think it was a bit rich for the LL to do that without prior advice - and your mate could offer to go halves with the LL as a sign of good faith, and get it noted that no work to be done in the future that is charged to the tenant without prior discussion, with the exception of 'discovery of cause during work done'. Also your mate needs to take lots of photos now if he's intending on staying there.....

                          Might make the LL think twice about pulling a swiftie in the future if that is what he's doing?

                          but then again, what do I know - I'm a LL currently in the TT from hell!

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                          • #14
                            The issue is that the damage is not agreed to be the tenants' responsibility.
                            If there is no discussion, he should get advice from the Dept of Building and Housing as I don't see how this is fair.
                            Assuming that the tenant does agree that it is damage, they are entitled to get their own quote to fix it.
                            Seems to me that the landlord has no chance of recouping the full cost here, but it may not be worth fighting.
                            Maybe get advice then write a letter making an offer to the landlord- probably around $50-100 without admitting liability.

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                            • #15
                              My mate has been to the DBH and had a meeting with them, they were on his side and have written him a letter (English isn't his first language) to give to the LL.

                              Basically the letter says that there is no proof that my mate caused the damage so he can't be made to pay

                              I'm not 100% with the letter as it makes a couple of strong statements without backing them up by quoting relevant bits of acts/law......but he's going to give it to the LL and I guess we'll see what happens.


                              Cheers
                              Spaceman

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