8:50 AM 02/20/2013
My relatively nice, but occasionally high-maintenance tenants let their bathroom sink overflow. The stopper was down and they left the water on, creating a fair amount of damage to walls and ceiling on the apartment below. I'm guessing the damage will come out to roughly $400-600 to fix. (It's a 3 family house.) I don't have a lot of experience with tenants doing damage. I am not in a great financial place right now, having recently done a lot of repairs to the house andn being in-between jobs.
Their lease is up in June. Any thoughts on how I should approach this? Take from security deposit? Ask for money?
I suggest a technical solution to this inevitable behavior problem, which would prevent the problem from occuring again. Why not replace the sink with one which has an overflow? Am I correct in assuming no overflow hole near the rim of your sink exists? Was the overflow opening or outlet blocked in some way?
9:27 AM 02/20/2013 | 0 Votes
If this is the biggest problem, probably forget the $$$$ as the turn-over will cost you far more in lost rent and repairs, especially if they are in no rush to move and you need to go legal. Deal with it in their deposit
9:39 AM 02/20/2013 | 0 Votes
I've already removed the stopper and put in a mesh drain cover.
10:20 AM 02/20/2013 | 0 Votes
Subtract the cost of the repairs from their security deposit, and ask them to replenish their security deposit by same amount. Deal with the costs, deposit and replenishment now, and not when their lease expires. Be friendly, honest and businesslike.
10:32 AM 02/20/2013 | 2 Votes
Yes, sink should have an overflow outlet above the drain or in the rim in the front, out of sight. Maybe it's there and blocked.
But this behaviour is just stupidity. Take it out of their deposit.
11:47 AM 02/20/2013 | 0 Votes
Have you discussed it with them? They may be be more than willing to pay without you insisting.
1:47 PM 02/20/2013 | 0 Votes
Check what's in your lease. You can add the charges for the damage to the rent & if the tenant doesn't pay you can take it out of the security deposit.
In the leases I use -
"•Added rent...Renter may be required to pay other charges & fees to owner under the terms of this lease...
•Security ...Owner may use or apply all or any part of the deposit as may be required to pay for damage to the apartment...
•Repairs: ...Renter will reimburse Owner for all costs and expenses incurred by Owner to remedy damage to the apartment or building caused by Renter..."
1:55 PM 02/20/2013 | 0 Votes
Wow, everyone all worked about about $500! Glad I'm not a renter. As a landlord, this is just a normal business expense that I expect to happen now and then. In the scheme of potential pitfalls facing a landlord in this city, this is chump change and a minor nuisance. Instead of looking to penalize, use it as an opportunity to show grace. You have good tenants - cherish them. You will be rewarded in ways far more important than the cost of a $500 repair. In a year from now you won't even remember this - but if your tenants stay and are happy, you will have peace of mind every day.
2:03 PM 02/20/2013 | 0 Votes
Actually, I normally wouldn't think twice about the expense, except that these tenants threatened to report me to some city agency when they had a roach problem this past summer. (It's really just one of the tenants, a real noodge.) It wasn't so much a roach problem as a roach sighting--in August no less. I went to their apartment--meat soup in the kitchen sink, window open with no screen above where the garbage is kept outside, and twenty carboard boxes laying around. I told them I wouldn't hire an exterminator until they fixed these conditions first and put out some bait, and one of them threatened me with this mythical 'city agency' thing if I didn't immediately get an exterminator. Needless to say, I didn't give in on that. I'm always very nice to them and 2 months prior let them add an additional roomate at no extra charge. After they remedied the conditions, the roach problem was gone. Apology from this guy who threatened me? Of course not. That's why I'm not feeling so generous to them these days, although they do pay their rent on time and 3 out of 4 of the tenants are super nice.
3:29 PM 02/20/2013 | 1 Votes
You can (and should) charge them whatever it costs to repair. Have receipts. Bill as added rent and as noted above you can take it out of their security if they do not pay. This sounds irresponsible and they should pay for the damage they caused. You're describing a history of irresponsibilty and disrespect. Tiem to draw the line.
9:51 PM 02/20/2013 | 1 Votes
Are they looking to renew their lease in june? I wouldn't, frankly. Between the thoughtless behavior (the flood itself is no big deal - can happen to anyone... but in this case, seems like a pattern of lack of common sense) and the threat of using the city against you, instead of working with you towards a reasonable solution... that last part is what gets me the most. Whether they want to renew or not, bill them, take it from security (document the incident, too) or allow them a payment plan tacked onto the rent.. ie: 100.00 extra per month for the next 4-6 (however much the repairs cost) - Also , for the tenants below who have been affected by this, make sure they are made whole on anything they lost (if anything), as well... that factors in to the costs of repairs. Whether they get it from you or the upstairs tenants won't matter to them, as it wasn't their fault... and you don't want to find yourself with a claim several months from now.
3:01 PM 02/21/2013 | 0 Votes
And while you are at it, why not put screens on the windows? And provide covered garbage cans for that outdoor space with tight-fitting lids? What sort of a place are you renting?
7:16 PM 02/21/2013 | 0 Votes