What if the fridge breaks and spoils the tenants food?

14 Replies

Originally posted by @Patrick Philip :

Should I reimburse them?

 I do, especially if they are a good tenant.  I once moved their food to my fridge for a few days

I’d just reimburse, especially if they’re a good tennant... losing a couple hundred on buying new food costs a heck of a lot less than a disgruntled tennant who decides not to pay their rent and you have to evict

good idea to keep an extra fridge on hand for the “just in case”. Same as a space heater, fans etc....

I would reimburse if you can’t get a replacement to them right away 

It's customary to reimburse the tenant in that situation. I've never had this happen in a rental but I certainly would reimburse them if it did.

Can tenants provide receipts claiming what they lost?   On another site just last week a tenant claimed to have lost $500 worth of food when the frig went belly up and wondered if "legally" the landlord had to reimburse them.

Gosh; all those lobsters and prime rib going to waste!

Gail

If they have renters insurance they can probably get it covered through that.

@Patrick Philip

I am a firm "no" on this. I even include this exact example in my routine every time I sign a lease. All of my tenants are required to carry renters insurance. My pitch goes something like this:

"As part of this lease you are agreeing to carry renters insurance. It covers your personal property. If the building should burn to the ground the owner has insurance to rebuild the structure but there is no coverage for your stuff (even if there is owner's coverage I still say there isn't in my pitch...). If you have $1000's of dollars of computers, jewelry, and furniture the owner's policy will not cover that. Sometimes it's not as drastic as a fire. If the fridge dies I will get you a new one but I can't guarantee it will be the same day. If you have $400 worth of steak, lobsters, and beer that spoil I feel bad for you but I'm not reimbursing you for it - that's what renter's insurance is for should you choose to file a claim". 

I am upfront with them right from Day 1 so in the event of any issue (fire, flood, outage, whatever...), it should come as no surprise when we don't reimburse them. 

It's entirely up to you. You are not required to reimburse but you can as a good will gesture. Each landlord has to figure out what kind of landlord they want to be—outside or legal compliance. If you do reimburse you may find that they ask for more concessions over time (e.g., remove legitimate late fees). If you say no now they will know you are no pushover but they could be resentful. So you get to weigh the options and decide what feels best for you. 

@Patrick Philip I'd bet you would be hard pressed to spend $150-200 to fill up the average refrigerator. I understand providing a refrigerator for an apartment but I NEVER supply one in my SFH. This us another reason why.

Renters’ insurance tends to cover this. At most, I would cover a deductible for that, but to my recollection, there is no deductible for food spoilage.

Originally posted by @Ryan Murdock :

@Patrick Philip

Sometimes it's not as drastic as a fire. If the fridge dies I will get you a new one but I can't guarantee it will be the same day. If you have $400 worth of steak, lobsters, and beer that spoil I feel bad for you ....

Beer spoil?  You don't know my tenants!

Originally posted by @Bettina F. :
Originally posted by @Ryan Murdock:

@Patrick Philip

Sometimes it's not as drastic as a fire. If the fridge dies I will get you a new one but I can't guarantee it will be the same day. If you have $400 worth of steak, lobsters, and beer that spoil I feel bad for you ....

Beer spoil?  You don't know my tenants!

Baby, the fridge gone out! We gotta drink all the beer before it spoils!

I have... I will no more after reading @Ryan Murdock post.. And yeah it was a b.s. list of crab, lobster and other sea food. Well over 200 bucks. Thanks Ryan!

This is a timely post as I've had two refrigerators die in the past 2 weeks. In once case the tenants kept their food in coolers until the new fridge showed up the next day. 

In the other, I had a vacant unit in the same building so I let the tenants shuttle their food into that fridge while awaiting delivery of their new one. I'm pretty sure they too drank all the beer immediately as part of their emergency response plan.

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