Normal Wear and Tear or Damage

4 Replies

Dear Landlords - Hoping to get your suggestions and advice on this...

We have recently sold our home to our tenants 2 months ago. The tenants have been renting this home for the past 3 years.  We've agreed to a 3 month closing timeframe as a favor since they needed more time to save for the downpayment before closing.

In the last month, they have came back to us with 2 requests which came across as trying to get free ‘deal' prior to closing in Sept. One request being the dryer. The start button on the dryer has fallen out and I was informed by tenants they can schedule a technician to fix it but might possibly cost 250-400$ to repair. I went online to check the replacement cost for the button and truly enough, it costs $195 just to purchase the start button. However, our appliance technician told us the damaged button is mainly caused by the use of fingernails to press the button which caused the plastic to tear apart over time. (I have never encountered a damaged button throughout the time i am using a dryer). 

So my question is, would this classified as 'Normal wear and tear' or damage caused by negligence - since why would somebody press the button if they have sharp or long fingernails?

We are feeling disappointed not so much about the money we have to spend repairing the dishwasher but rather the attitude of these tenants wanting more ‘favors’ after we have agreed to a longer closing period. 

Thank you


Usually buttons don't just fall off of anything unless they're faulty or manhandled. If the repairman said it's from fingernails then it's from fingernails. I personally feel if there's room in your budget to fix it, then do it. Small price to pay to close the deal.

It‘s probably cheaper just to buy a replacement used dryer on CL rather than spending $200-$400 getting a button fixed. It’s only getting 3 months of use, then turn around and sell it for most of what you paid for. And sell the one with the broken button.

Have your repairman write up an estimate and then simply share what your "expert technician" has told you. Then leave it up to the tenants - do they want to pay or use as is?

I am ok to pay $200 to keep both parties happy, its a small amount to pay. But I think they are expecting us to give them a brand new dryer which is what I am having issues with. As a landlord, I have been diligently repairing or replacing appliances (When reasonable) in the past for them, I believe this is one of the reasons why they ‘believe’ they can get a new dryer from us.