Tenant Requesting Reimbursement for Damaged Vacuum

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Latest post Sat, Dec 10 2016 8:16 AM by adjuster jack. 7 replies.
  • Thu, Dec 8 2016 11:05 PM

    • ckustas
      Consumer
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    • Joined on Tue, Aug 8 2000
    • Posts 54

    Tenant Requesting Reimbursement for Damaged Vacuum

    We rent an older home in upstate New York on a month to month basis. The tenant has paid the rent on time, when I ask her for the rent early she complies and been very good about keeping the place clean. It has a small utilitiy room that houses the furnance and water softner etc. The tenant notified me via text that there was a water leak and some of water landed on top of the vacuum cleaner that she stored there. She texted me photos. In three days I had gone there and discover the water softner line was plugged and had it snaked and problem solved. A few days later she texts me that water is coming out of the vacuum cleaner and it no longer works. She is requesting that I pay 1/2 for a new vacuum of the same quality. This sounds trivial but I do not want to start a presendence that she can think that I am going to reimburse her for every personal item that breaks because of what happens in the house. 

    I wanted to state to her that I would only make this exception ONCE and that I would offer let us say $40. 

    I would like to state in a nice, but firm way that this is it.

    Sounds trivial, but just want to do the right thing.

    Thank you!

  • Fri, Dec 9 2016 12:13 AM In reply to

    • DOCAR
      Lawyer
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    • Joined on Sat, Dec 9 2000
    • NV
    • Posts 5,469

    Re: Tenant Requesting Reimbursement for Damaged Vacuum

    Do you have a question?

  • Fri, Dec 9 2016 4:53 AM In reply to

    • Drew
      Consumer
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    • Joined on Thu, Mar 30 2000
    • PA
    • Posts 51,417

    Re: Tenant Requesting Reimbursement for Damaged Vacuum

    You have no legal duty to so....

    You know your tenant, we don't .

    Personally as a long time LL, I'd spring for 1/2 and do it with a big smile and no negativism or "firmness" likely to sound like negativism ..cross any such road later .....I get your concern but think it is wrong place this time ...

     

     

     

     

     

     



  • Fri, Dec 9 2016 7:09 AM In reply to

    Re: Tenant Requesting Reimbursement for Damaged Vacuum

    As DOCAR pointed out, you didn't ask a question!

    But I'll go ahead and opine on your situation anyway :-)

    While you have no legal duty to repair or replace her vacuum cleaner unless the leak occurred because of negligence on your part, the background facts show that your tenant has been bending over backwards to keep you happy, even going so far as to pay the rent early (!) at your request on more than one occasion.

    It would be a shame to ruin that friendly spirit, especially if you think you might need her to pay the rent early again in the future, though I think asking her to violate the rules to your benefit is a mistake because you've made it fair for her to ask you to violate the rules to her benefit.  Too late now to change that with this tenant, just something to think about for the future.

    Can you tell from the photo how expensive this vacuum cleaner is?  If it's a very expensive model, then I think you'd have to decline - and expect your tenant to be less friendly in future.

    If it's not an expensive model, what I would do in your shoes is to say you've been a great tenant so far and I'd love to do something nice for you. I'd be happy to chip in $40.  Then if she says she was thinking a bigger number I'd ask her whether she is aware that when things happen that are nobody's fault, nobody whose stuff is damaged has a right to demand that anyone else pay to fix it.  That's why tenants should buy tenants' insurance.  If ever something really bad happens like a serious roof leak due to a storm, the landlord's insurance will only pay to repair the landlord's property, and the tenant cannot claim on the landlord's policy but has to look to the tenants' insurance they bought themselves.

    Basically, I would use this as an opportunity to encourage my tenant to buy tenants' insurance.

  • Fri, Dec 9 2016 8:02 AM In reply to

    Re: Tenant Requesting Reimbursement for Damaged Vacuum

    karen2222:
    Then if she says she was thinking a bigger number

    I should clarify:  if your tenant graciously accepts your $40 offer, I would not recommend going on to lecture her about tenants' insurance!  Her uncomplaining acceptance would show that she probably already knew she was asking a favor, and she therefore doesn't need any patronizing lectures.

  • Fri, Dec 9 2016 9:16 AM In reply to

    Re: Tenant Requesting Reimbursement for Damaged Vacuum

    Ok....you didn't ask a question.  Do you have one?

  • Fri, Dec 9 2016 9:23 AM In reply to

    More [=+=] Re: Tenant Requesting Reimbursement for Damaged Vacuum

    By the way, even if you have an obligation to pay for the damaged vacuum, your obligation would be to pay the fair market value of vacuum at the time of the damage, not half (or any other percentage) the price of a brand new one, and my guess is that most used vacuums probably wouldn't fetch more than $15-20 on Craigslist.

  • Sat, Dec 10 2016 8:16 AM In reply to

    Re: Tenant Requesting Reimbursement for Damaged Vacuum

    As a former landlord I have to agree with Karen and Drew. Keep a good tenant happy and work something out without getting too huffy about it.

    • The right of the people 
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    • shall not be infringed.
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