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  1. #1

    Smile Damaged Benchtop - tenants responsible?

    image: https://ibb.co/nLURAb (sorry I didn't know how to attach directly here)

    Hi guys,


    Hoping for a little advice. My tenants just moved out, there's small wear and tear which is fine, but the thing that's got me annoyed is they chipped the cover of the formica benchtop (see photo above). The chip is approximately the size of a 10 cent coin. I'm slightly worried the damage will spread now as water will seep in etc. The benchtop is relatively new, changed only 1.5 years ago.


    1) Does anyone know if this damage is fixable, or what I can do to make sure it doesn't break further? Or which tradee should I bring in for this minor damage.


    2) Are the tenants responsible for fixing this or is it considered normal wear and tear? It doesn't look like a burn, it looks like they must have been chopping something on the benchtop and the knife slipped.


    Thanks very much in advance,


    Nathan
    ...


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Auckland
    Posts
    1,518

    Default

    It doesn't matter if they dropped something or chopped something: it will be considered accidental damage and they are not liable. There are outfits that do these repairs, depending where you are.
    My blog. From personal experience.
    http://statehousinginnz.wordpress.com/

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Wellington
    Posts
    438

    Default

    Try your insurance company ?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Auckland
    Posts
    1,769

    Default

    Not normal wear & tear and of course the tenants are liable.
    Have you still got the bond?
    Tell the tenants they need to pay for it to be fixed.
    Either a new bench top or try:
    http://www.benchdoctors.co.nz/
    The three most harmful addictions are heroin, carbohydrates and a monthly salary - Fred Wilson.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    7,009

    Default

    if nothing else

    you can seal it with 5min epoxy from a $2 shop

    you can even try a half ugly job tinting it with kids artist paint
    have you defeated them?
    your demons

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Dunedin
    Posts
    1,527

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by eri View Post
    if nothing else

    you can seal it with 5min epoxy from a $2 shop

    you can even try a half ugly job tinting it with kids artist paint
    or nail polish

  7. #7

    Default

    Thank you everyone for all your help.

    The company that PC provided will be fixing the chip, and the tenants have agreed to pay for it. I'll be taking it out of their bond. Thanks PC!

    Have a good night

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Wellington
    Posts
    438

    Default

    I agree with your approach, but suggest that should the tenant take advice in the future, they could decide to take you to the Tenancy Tribunal over this, as accidental damage by a tenant is to be covered by your insurance according to the Osaki ruling, and now established Tribunal practice.

    You have therefore contracted out of this and could be found to have to refund this and charged exemplary damages.

    Just putting this out for discussion, hoping that such an eveny wouldn't actually happen; but given recent a recent Tribunal award against a Landlord for an unconsented property taken by a malicious tenant, anything could happen !

  9. #9

    Default

    Have to agree with nice. Section 137(2) would apply. The maximum fine is $1000. If this was your first offence you might pay anywhere between $200 and $600 depending on whether you were a private landlord or a property manager. Some sort of cost-benefit analysis could be done.

    I personally prefer stainless steel bench tops as I have found they them to be more robust.
    No exemplary damages in the following but plenty of damaged benches.


    https://forms.justice.govt.nz/search/Documents/TTV2/126014086.pdf


    https://forms.justice.govt.nz/search.../127290374.pdf (9-10)

    https://forms.justice.govt.nz/search.../126775332.pdf (42-44)

  10. #10

    Default

    Hi Nathan,
    I'd get a quote to repair it and discuss it with the former tenant (if you're still in contact and haven't released their bond). They may agree to pay and agree it was their fault. You may have to be malleable with payment terms. Paid off over 6 payments say? I have just had a tenant damage a splash back. It was an accident but after discussing it with him, he was happy to pay to have it fixed. He's paying an additional amount on top of his rent, Problem solved.
    Failing that your tenant is willing to accept the responsibility, I'd fix it. The Tenancy Tribunal would 'probably' rule in favour of the tenant.
    There is also a product from Mitre Ten in which you can resurface the whole bench top. A couple of days work, sand, roll first sealer coat and then two top coats. Or depending on it's location (close to stove) you could insert a tile and seal. Utube has allsorts of ideas. Good luck.

    P.G


 

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