Attempted break in Damage to Door - Who is responsible LLord or Tenant?

Discussion in 'Property investment and tenants' rights' started by Inca, Oct 11, 2010.

  1. Inca

    Inca Frequent Poster

    Hi All,
    I let a property to excellent tenants and I consider myself to be a fair and reasonable landlord.

    There was an attempted break in at the weekend and quite a lot of damage was done to the front entrance door. Thankfully the perpetrators were unable to gain access.

    The door will have to be replaced at a cost of approximately €800. Who is responsible for paying this charge i.e. the tenant or the landlord?

    One part of me says it is the tenant's responsibility as this is beyond normal "wear & tear". They are responsible for the property during the tenancy agreement.

    The other part of me fully appreciates that this was not the fault of the tenants - they did nothing wrong and were just unfortunate to be targeted by burglars. I appreciate that this is a large bill for anyone to meet.

    I had considered splitting the cost.

    I am of the opinion that the tenants think it is not their responsibility as they or their guests did not cause the damage. They are now suggesting that they are going to leave as they do not feel safe. This would be breaking the terms of the tenancy agreement as it is a fixed term lease.

    I think it is totally unreasonable for me to pick up the total bill for the damage and have to suffer the costs involved in finding new tenants etc.
    What would you do given the circumstances?

    I hold a deposit, the property is registered and block insurance is in place, the excess on the insurance is €1000 so there is no point in submitting a claim. It is a good area and a burglary is out of character so there is as much chance of a similar incident happening again here as anywhere else.

    Thanks for your comments.
  2. nediaaa

    nediaaa Frequent Poster

    the door is part of the fabric of the building and the damage was done by someone other than your tenants so wear and tear does not come in to it. If tiles fell off the roof would you ask the tenants to pay for it?
    I am a landlord myself and would not consider asking my tenants to pay for it
  3. Berni

    Berni Frequent Poster

    It would be the landlord's responsibility.

    Most residential tenancy agreements contain a clause similar to this under the Landlord's obligations:
    It is generally only commercial lettings where the tenant would assume responsiblilty for building mainenance.
  4. NHG

    NHG Frequent Poster

    Landlords responsibility I would assume (landlord myself), insurance should cover it
  5. mathepac

    mathepac Frequent Poster

    Crystal clear - it is the landlord's responsibility to repair the door, either via an insurance claim or from cash-flow.

    If the tenants wish to move out they have the legal option of sub-letting the balance of their lease.
  6. Murfnm

    Murfnm Frequent Poster

    Same thing happened to me when I was a tenant, attempted break-in, kicked in the front door, the landlord covered the repairs.
  7. dereko1969

    dereko1969 Frequent Poster

    Landlord all the way, I'm surprised you're even asking the question to be honest.
  8. niceoneted

    niceoneted Frequent Poster

    Agree with all the other posters.
  9. Inca

    Inca Frequent Poster

    " If tiles fell off the roof would you ask the tenants to pay for it?"

    Fair point - I think the cost involved has clouded my judgement. I obviously had not planned on a bill of this size.
  10. samhugh

    samhugh Guest

    Is covered

    is covered under most insurance policies. just call your house insurance company and check. Will be a deductible but should cover most of it.
  11. Maynooth

    Maynooth Frequent Poster

    With a 1K excess you are paying the cost for getting a cheap insurance policy.

    You might also want to reconsider this point.

  12. Inca

    Inca Frequent Poster

    Thanks Berni for the comment - I see that a door would be considered part of the structure. I will cover the cost myself and take it on the chin.
  13. Inca

    Inca Frequent Poster

    Re: Insurance. The management agent organises a block policy on behalf of the management company. I in turn pay a service charge to cover the cost of same.
    As I understand it an excess of €1000 plus is fairly standard for block policies so I think it is unfair to suggest it is a cheap insurance policy! Am I wrong?

    Re: other comment Maynooth that I should consider whether I am "fair and reasonable". I posted the comment to look for advice as I wanted to do the right thing given the circumstances. None of us have all the answers.
    I think it is acting responsibly to ask others for advice so I have not changed my views on my own character.
  14. sam h

    sam h Frequent Poster

    Inca, FWIW, I think you are being fair & reasonable.

    You were unsure if you were liable & took it onboard when most indicated you are. The poster who indicated you weren't seems to have a thing about landlords, have a look back on old posts.
  15. mercman

    mercman Frequent Poster

    If the Management Company will have to make repairs to the front door caused by the burglelary, surely the damage to your door is part of the same incident and your costs can be joined with the MC claim. Therefore you might give this consideration and your bill could well be reduced.

    Failing this find out who does the repairs to the common areas, and they might undertake your repairs at a lessor price than a one off job to A N Other contractor.
  16. Inca

    Inca Frequent Poster

    Thanks Sam for the advice - will do as advice based on the facts presented is welcomed but advice based on clouded thinking is best ignored.
  17. Inca

    Inca Frequent Poster

    I had thought about this ... whoever does the work will have to purchase a new door from the original supplier as it is an external door and will have to be in keeping with the other doors in the development. I went direct to the original manufacturer and have ordered up a new one.
  18. Inca

    Inca Frequent Poster

    Mercman - just reread your note. Actually there is only one door as it is an own door apartment with no common lobby. Similar situation to any three bed semi-d.
    I am going to sort it out myself rather than going through the Managing Agent / Management Company. Thanks again.
  19. Marietta

    Marietta Frequent Poster

    Inca - Were there any cameras in operation, the people that should pay for this are of course the culprits. It is wrong that either landlord or tenents should be faced with this sort of bill. Report the matter to the guards and maybe witnesses will come forward, if they did that much damage they must have been hammering at the door for quite some time.
  20. Inca

    Inca Frequent Poster

    Hi Marietta,
    no cameras unfortunately. I rang the guards - they asked me "Was there any point in calling as the culprits did not gain entry?" I spoke with all the neighbours but no-one witnessed anything suspicious or heard anything.
    Most of the damage was caused by a crowbar being wedged between the door and the frame rather than a "hammering" action.
    The only unusual thing is that a door to door window cleaner was calling to each apartment during the day asking whether people wanted their windows cleaned. I guess he could have "tools" inside his cleaning bucket and use this service as a front to see who was at home etc...
    I could be way off track here - might be just a guy trying to earn an honest living but neighbours did say that "he looked a bit dodgy"!
    Coincidence - who knows but a possibility never the less. Sad that you have to be aware of everyone these days!