Tenant had garage door replaced

6 Replies

We have an out of state rental house that we self-manage. Our tenant called me to let me know her husband accidentally backed into the garage door, and they already went through their renter's insurance to have the door replaced (without our knowledge). She said their renter's insurance would be contacting us to finalize the claim. I had the tenant email me a picture of the garage door, and they have not yet had it painted to match the other door. I also can't tell from the picture whether the new door matches the other one, but I think it does.

What's the best way to proceed at this point? What things should I request and insist on? I want to ensure that the door matches and that it gets painted, and also that it was installed professionally. Anything else? Thanks!

Updated 6 months ago

See update comment below.

I would first thank them for taking the initiative to facilitate that repair, HOWEVER, they need to contact you PRIOR to any repairs for things like this next time.  Your lease's language should cover this, so just reference that section of the lease.

Then, I would ask for receipts from all the people involved in replacing the door so that you can verify that it was done appropriately and was warranted work.

It is totally reasonable that you would expect it to be the same type of door, and that it would be painted, so make sure that if the Tenant is taking care of the painting, that they get the right color formula.

Also, make sure that you get a copy of the claim from the insurance for your records.

That's an interesting one @Kimberly T. !  I wouldn't think their renters insurance would cover that but it would fall under landlord insurance?  I don't know your relationship with this renter either as I think that will dictate much of your next steps here..

Since they left you (the homeowner) out of the process of replacing a key feature of the property's form and functionality, I think I would require them to pay for a 3rd party inspection to properly assess the install and make sure it's what you need. Whether or not that falls under their obligation or your rental contract is a whole other question as well though.  

Do you think they were trying to hide it from you, but then the insurance company said they had to get final sign off from you before finalizing and that's the only reason you even know about it? 

Let us know what happens, this is certainly one of those corner case situations that I love to know more about. 

Cheers!

Thank you Cara and Jon!

I have requested a picture and copy of the receipt from the tenant, and also asked whether the new door matches the other door (there are 2 garage doors on the house). I will be sure to check for any warranty and to get a copy of the claim info.

I'm not sure they were trying to hide it necessarily, it feels like they wanted to get it handled before telling us about it, perhaps so we wouldn't think they were going to drop the ball or trying to dodge the issue. They just moved in a few months ago and they've otherwise been very good tenants. I will definitely let them know to contact us before any future repairs though.

Unfortunately, we don't know the brand or type of paint since it was painted by the previous owners. I think they may have to just have the color matched. Fortunately it's a stand alone door with faux brick on the adjacent walls, so there's no identical paint color right next to the door, so hopefully color matching will be sufficient for people to not notice the difference.

If the insurance company is handling it, I would basically just treat it like it was my claim....i.e make sure the insurance company does a good job and doesn't cut corners..... proper materials and install, finish work is up to par etc. Don't let the insurance company get away with crap work

Have them paint both doors if you don't have the EXACT paint code...

And make it PERFECTLY clear that you appreciate them taking care of it, but stuff like this needs to be run through you first.....PERIOD. Just like I tell my kids....stuff happens..... if you tell me the truth up front I will be way more easy to deal with and more forgiving than if you lie or hide it from me and I find out later.....

Update...

Just wanted to give an update to this. I checked out the company that replaced the garage door and they look legit and actually have a bunch of good reviews online. I spoke with them and got some warranty info. Also spoke with the tenant and told them to let us know prior to any future repairs, and they even found the remaining matching paint in the garage and got the new door painted and sent me a pic. Turns out I misunderstood and it's not their renter's insurance but their auto insurance that's handling the claim since they hit the door with their car, so I'm waiting for a call back from their insurance company so I can request a copy of the claim and give them the ok to pay out on the claim since the tenants paid for the new door out of pocket.

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