I am looking for a little advice. Our tenant put in a maintenance request with our property management company to fix the garage door. My husband and I were surprised when the estimate came back at about $700. The estimate is for full replacement of the door. We asked for a second estimate and this one came in at $500 but this time we were able to talk to the technician and they explained that the two lower panels needed replacement. We asked if this is from normal wear and tear or if someone damaged it. The said it was probably driven in to.
Should we be responsible for the replacement door? Is it worth asking the tenant to pay for part of the replacement?
Any advice would be helpful. Thanks in advance!
if he said someone drove into it (and it was fine before) I would have the tenant pay for it. Normal wear/tear is different then their accidental fault of driving into it.
The property manager has a responsibility to determine if the door stopped working due to ordinary wear-and-tear or if it was due to tenant abuse/neglect. I would talk to both technicians and ask them for their expert opinion on how the door was damaged. I would also ask for pictures from the manager and the technicians so you can see yourself.
If this is damage due to abuse / neglect, the tenant is responsible for the cost. If the tenant claims they didn't do it, ask them to provide evidence of who did. The burden of proof is on them, not on you.
I don't think your property manager is doing you any favors. The estimate should have raised red flags with the property manager and they should have investigated further before passing it on to you. In my office, we would have looked at the door, taken pictures, and talked to the technicians to get their opinion. Then I would contact the owner and give my professional opinion of the damage, what caused it, what repairs are necessary, and who should pay for it.
I recently had a two-car garage door with two broken panels because of bad design and age. But in most cases, door damage is caused by tenants driving into it, abusing it, or neglecting to report a problem until it results in a completely broken door.
@Amanda Sartor If you have a decent relationship with the tenant (since you PM is helping much) try asking them what happened. I doubt that if they did do it, they'll admit to it, but you may be able to learn something.
Updated almost 3 years ago
Your* pm isn't* - Typing too fast and not proofreading.
@Mike B. We will talk to the property manager. Thanks!
@Nathan G. We have not had much luck with this property manager. They consistently have poor communication. Sounds like our standards have been too low based on your service.
@Grant Rothenburger We have no relationship with the tenant. Everything has been handled through the property manager. We are self managing with our second rental and if it goes well we will cancel and try to handle this one too.
Thanks for all of information.
If someone backed into the door that is damage, not wear and tear. Depending on the terms of your lease, you should be able to bill the tenant.
By the way, this is why I've started requiring renters insurance with the landlord listed as additional insured for liability. If the tenant inadvertently damages the property, their insurance will take care of it and you won't have to worry about.
If you've got before and after pictures to prove that the damage happened during their tenancy, I would let them know that they will be responsible for the repair.
@Amanda Sartor - if you only have a few properties... get your hands (and sometimes feet) dirty.. do your own PM. Save on fees and much better (closer) follow up on your properties to ensure they stay in good shape (and you have great tenants to start with). I think PM are helpful if you're (A) live out of state or very far away or (B) have >10 properties and cannot manage them all on your own
Just my $0.02 -- I've been the acting PM for my properties for several years now and have saved a lot of money (and likely aggravation) dealing with this. I've also noticed some tenants pay my higher rent (they state this) because they directly deal with me for issues vs. a PM.
@Mike B. Thanks Mike. We have two properties at the moment. This property was our first home. We moved four years ago and didn't plan to rent it but we were going to lose money on the sale so we decided to rent it hoping to break even or make a profit at a later time. We got a property manager and it has had the same tenants ever since. We closed on the new property three weeks ago and we are self managing. We are planning to shift this one to self management soon.