Damage to unit main door, who is responsible for repair costs ?

14 Replies

My tenant called me regarding a broken door, I had scheduled a repair on the door the following Monday (5 days after the call) however when I arrived the day of with a contractor, I found the door to be completely unusable and evident signs of a crow bar being used to force the door open, I had the lock replaced and repaired, now the whole door must be changed, who is liable to pay the repair costs, the tenant is very dodgy about how the door came to this state so I Have to assume this was either a break in or she forcefully broke into the unit, thanks in advance for any replies.

Did she file a police report to state an attempted break in? If not she's responsible in my opinion she  I'd charge her for the door.. Why were you repairing the door? If she says we'll my lock malfunctioned and I couldn't get in she still should have called you prior to attempting to break door down to gain access.

In my opinion she is  responsible for the damage she caused to the door and I'd charge her.

I'd take photo's if she says shes not going to pay.. let it ride till she moves out and take damages from security deposit. 

@Deanna McCormick here in Canada we don't have security deposits, I took ownership of the property a month prior and the 5 day wait on repair is due to lack of availability on repairmen, I know this is a long delay for a repair, she didn't create a police report and my suspicion is that the damage is due to tenant domestic dispute

5 days to secure the property seems crazy. If the door was damaged badly it probably wasn't able to get secured and no one likes sleeping with no door. I would tread very carefully with that and next time main entry to a unit is in jeopardy you should probably find some reliable company that can secure the unit for you much quicker.

Originally posted by @Elias Chawki :

Deanna McCormick here in Canada we don't have security deposits, I took ownership of the property a month prior and the 5 day wait on repair is due to lack of availability on repairmen, I know this is a long delay for a repair, she didn't create a police report and my suspicion is that the damage is due to tenant domestic dispute

Elias:

As a general statement, that is not true.   Some places in Canada, such as NB and NS, have security deposits; others, such as Ontario, allow the collection of last month's rent, but no security deposit.

Regardless, when the tenant is still resident in the property, you do not resort to the security deposit, you repair the damage and invoice the tenant immediately (with the invoice due at the time of the next rent payment).

In this instance it seems as though you may not be able to prove the tenant is responsible for the damage.  You would still repair the damage promptly, if it is a multi-unit property, you get the pleasure of absorbing the costs.  If it is a single family home, you should be able to make the case the tenant is responsible for some/all of the cost (though it may not be worth the hassle).

I would suggest you find a emergency repair service for this type of situation so your prepared in the future. 

Believe my they are available and well worth the initial contact to have in your arsenal for the future. 

I'd for sure bill her for the repairs,, if she disagrees deal with that then deal with as you think best.

Domestic abuse issues she should have reported. Any further disturbances you are made aware of document and give notice for same. 

No security deposits! Very trusting you Canadians are.

It is clearly not normal wear and tear and no break in was reported or claimed by tenant = tenant charge.

I say charge the tenant.  If they produce a police report, then its your cost or whoever the police nab.

This just happen to me too, but the daughter's boyfriend was caught on camera!

Originally posted by @Wade Williams :

No security deposits! Very trusting you Canadians are.

It is clearly not normal wear and tear and no break in was reported or claimed by tenant = tenant charge.

Wade:

No deposits of any nature is a Québec thing.  Other provinces permit the collection of security deposits (ranging from 1 week on a weekly lease to 1/2 to a full months rent on a monthly or annual lease) or the last months rent (Ontario).

In Ontario. Any damage caused by the tenant or one of their guests. Makes the tenant responsible. I would send them an invoice immediately. Ask to pay on the spot as well. If they couldn't, I'd offer a payment plan. With a small payment as show of good faith. If that didn't work. Then applying to the landlord tenant board would be the only option left. Questions I would ask myself before applying. 1. Is it worth it. Cost to evict would be around $750. 2. Are they clean tenants. 3. Do they pay there rent on time. Turnover costs can get costly as well.

Invoice the tenant. Since she is being evasive in explaining the damage and has not claimed break in then it is 100% her responsibility to pay for damage. Have it repaired, do not concern yourself with the time it is taking, Invoice her for the cost.

If there is a domestic issue you do not want this tenant. Bill her the full amount and take her to court if she refuses to pay. If she vacates you are better off.

+2 for @Thomas S. here. The door was broken. There was no criminal activity if there is no police report. Would you charge her if the cabinet doors suddenly broke off? This is a tenant problem. Bill them and if they don't pay get rid of them. And likely if they do pay get rid of them.

Code Civil Article 1861 "Le locataire est tenu de réparer le préjudice subi par le locateur en raison des pertes survenues au bien loué, à moins qu'il ne prouve que ces pertes ne sont pas dues à sa faute ou à celle des personnes à qui il permet l'usage du bien ou l'accès à celui-ci."   

The burden of proof for responsibility is on his side, and considering that he does not have a police report or a clear explanation as to how it happened, my (non-professional) opinion is that he is liable for the damage.

I would recommend to charge him, and should he refuse to pay, take the matter to the regie. Prior to the audience, make sure to review the tenant's claim as to how he can prove that he is not responsible. The decision will most likely come down to the Judge's opinion on the validity of that proof.

Make sure to save your receipts:

"1869. Le locataire est tenu de rendre compte au locateur des réparations ou améliorations effectuées au bien et des dépenses engagées, de lui remettre les pièces justificatives de ces dépenses et, s'il s'agit d'un meuble, de lui remettre les pièces remplacées. Le locateur, pour sa part, est tenu de rembourser la somme qui excède le loyer retenu [...]"

As for the 5 days, the only provision in the code civil is that if the tenant thinks it is excessive, he can take the matter to the regie, execute the work himself and charge you (which in your case would take much longer than 5 days) "Lorsque le locateur n'effectue pas les réparations ou améliorations auxquelles il est tenu, en vertu du bail ou de la loi, le locataire peut s'adresser au tribunal afin d'être autorisé à les exécuter."

On a side note; you can get used doors on Kijiji for dirt cheap :)

http://www.rdl.gouv.qc.ca/fr/pdf/ccq_du_louage.pdf

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