Is Tenant Responsible for Water Damage Repairs

8 Replies

State: Texas

Situation: The AC unit inside the house leaked causing damage to flooring and drywall. The root cause of the leak was that the outside drip hose had been raised and pinned up against the wall not allowing normal operation. The tenants claim they know nothing about it but do have a lawn service hired. It seems quite likely that the lawn service adjusted the hose so they could mow and then forgot to put it down. We had the AC unit serviced about a month ago and it was operating normally. 

Our Lease: (2) Landlord will NOT pay to repair the following items unless caused by Landlord's negligence:

                          (a) conditions caused by Tenant, an Occupant, or any guest or invitee of Tenant;

Question: Should the Tenant be responsible for paying for the entire damages, paying the deductible on the home insurance claim, or not responsible at all?

I just had an instance where a tenant moved out and apparently they did not turn off the valve all the way to the water line to fridge......

luckily all damage was in basement. I happened to have a high deductible of 2500 of which tenant paid all of it.

I would say at minimum hold tenant responsible for at least half if not all of your deductible if you need to file a claim.

thx,

Chris

I would speak to a attorney as local customs and laws are very different from location to location.

But In this case my opinion would be no they are not responsible unless you think it was done on purpose I would just chalk it up to the cost of doing business, and try to get that line adjusted permanently so it will never happen again

I'm not an attorney and only an attorney licensed in your state would really be qualified to give you their opinion.  But since you came here asking, I'll give you my unqualified opinion.

I would tend to agree with @Scott Rogers and say that, unless you can prove the tenant did something that caused the damage, you would have very little chance of prevailing against them in lawsuit.

Again, in my opinion, you'd have a better chance of prevailing against the lawn service company (or their insurance company if they're insured), assuming you can prove they pinned the drip hose against the wall.  Based on what you wrote, I'd agree with you that scenario sounds like the most likely cause, but it also sounds like an opinion which - as you probably know - courts don't consider evidence. 

So, unfortunately, you might end up having to eat the cost of this one and remedy the situation so it can't happen again.

Hope it works out for you either way.

Based on your original post and the information provided I would hold the tenant responsible for th entire cost of the repair and suggest they go after their lawn care company for compensation.

If the A/C was installed by the Tenant or adjusted by the tenant or adjusted by a contractor hired by the tenant, the tenant is responsible for the costs.

If they are good, responsible people and they made an honest mistake, I would try to work with them to share the expense or recover the funds from the landscaper.

I had this happen to one of my units, 1 week after a tenant moved in! It was no one's fault, as the condensate line was clogged. Once the AC had been running for a while it occurred. Destroyed carpet and laminate. I never realized how much water the AC makes.

My insurance covered it all. Try that route.