Charging tenant for stove repair that equates to replacement

56 Replies

Hi there,


ISSUE: A tenant informed me she is responsible for cracking my glass top range and wants to know next steps for getting it repaired. The glass top / cooktop part is no longer manufactured. If the part was available for purchase, part + labor is almost $500. Since the part is not available, a new range must be purchased.

QUESTION: How would you propose I charge the tenant for this "repair" that has now turned into a complete replacement of the appliance?

MY THOUGHT: Take what part + shipping + labor would have cost the tenant and compare it to the new range + delivery + installation fee.  If the installation fee and delivery fee are higher than shipping and labor, I will charge the tenant for installation and delivery given I wouldn't have had these expenses if the tenant had not cracked the glass top in the first place. However I would pay the difference between the part and the cost of the new range since I will get benefit of having a new range for the life of the appliance.

ADDITIONAL DETAIL

I spoke to an appliance repair guy who told me it's possible to repair the cracked glass top, but in actuality the repair requires the glass top to be replaced for it to be "repaired". Unfortunately, the part is no longer made by the manufacturer and I haven't been able to find an extra part "laying around" via the Internet. 


Based on one brick and mortar merchant in my property's city and one online source that still had pricing available, the part cost between $326.21 and $355.42 excluding labor. The appliance repair guy I wanted to use for the repair told me he would charge $125 for labor if I'm able to find the part.  So the repair would have cost roughly $452 - $481 based on the data I was able to uncover.

Per a search on BestBuy.com, the cost of a new range is roughly $500 + tax + installation given the current Black Friday discounts. I will look at other stores for range pricing, but Best Buy was good for now since I could easily filter options based on the features of my current range to get pricing comparable with what I already own.

Appliance details in case it's helpful:

  • Frigidaire stainless steel electric glasstop range
  • Purchased in 2007
  • Other than a loose oven handle I was notified about today, the range was fully functional prior to being informed of the cracked glass top.



Thanks in advance! I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

In my state (oregon) you can only charge a tenant for damage to something if it still has “ useful life”   so I would check your state laws regarding this....  

Oh! See if you have an appliance supply company that can order the part.  We have a local place that can find parts for everything it seems.  

Have you tried https://www.repairclinic.com/ ?  I have successfully gotten parts from them for repairing older appliances.  

Originally posted by @Mary Mitchell :

In my state (oregon) you can only charge a tenant for damage to something if it still has “ useful life”   so I would check your state laws regarding this....  

Oh! See if you have an appliance supply company that can order the part.  We have a local place that can find parts for everything it seems.  

The stove has not completed its useful life yet per what I found online. I'll have to do some research on state law. The stove was fully functioning. I had even replaced some of the oven elements & light bulbs earlier in the early to keep it "like new". It will be frustrating if I can't charge 100% for something the tenant fully admits as being her fault 100%.  

I had already reached out to THE appliance supply company in the area regarding the part. They were the ones who first told me the part was no longer available and provided me with the part number so I can search online in hopes of finding it.

Originally posted by @Kathy Johnson :

Have you tried https://www.repairclinic.com/ ?  I have successfully gotten parts from them for repairing older appliances.  

 Thanks for this suggestion. I took a look and the part is out of stock, but has an expected shipping date of Dec 11, 2018 if I order today.

I'll give a call in the AM to see when the last time this part was in stock. I have a concern that if I buy today the shipment date could move further into the future for whatever reason. This has happened to me for something else and finally weeks of shipment date changes turned into months and then it was too late for me to be able to use the item I needed. So I ended up cancelling the order.

In the grand scheme of things having tenants wait a month for a part seems excessive, but it is what is it if this is the only one I've been able to find.

buy a new stove, charge them the 450, you pay the difference

I agree with @Max T. .  Charge them the value of a comparable used stove, but buy a brand new one to replace it and be done.  You are spending a lot of extra time ferreting around trying to find a part.  For a few hundred extra you'll get much more value out of the new appliance.  You don't want another service call on this stove in the future.  Time is money.

This post has been removed.

@Nerissa Marbury   - Suggestion for avoiding this situation in the future...  What I use is the following wording in my lease.  This has eliminated all issues that I have had on the appliances as they become completely responsible for the issues and maintenance.  This has held up in court in Marion county Indiana.

Appliances - The appliances have been supplied in complete working order. Appliances included are a refrigerator, electric stove, above stove microwave, garbage disposal and dish washer. The use of these appliances is not included in the rent. If Tenants wish to use these appliances, they agree to assume all responsibility for care and maintenance. Tenants agree to return the appliances in the condition supplied less any normal and reasonable use. If Tenants wish to use their own appliances, they may request that the owners’ appliance(s) be removed from the premises. Initials verify that the Tenants understand this paragraph.

I am not a lawyer nor am I giving legal advice by providing this information.  

Originally posted by @Dan Perrott :

@Nerissa Marbury  - Suggestion for avoiding this situation in the future...  What I use is the following wording in my lease.  This has eliminated all issues that I have had on the appliances as they become completely responsible for the issues and maintenance.  This has held up in court in Marion county Indiana.

Appliances - The appliances have been supplied in complete working order. Appliances included are a refrigerator, electric stove, above stove microwave, garbage disposal and dish washer. The use of these appliances is not included in the rent. If Tenants wish to use these appliances, they agree to assume all responsibility for care and maintenance. Tenants agree to return the appliances in the condition supplied less any normal and reasonable use. If Tenants wish to use their own appliances, they may request that the owners’ appliance(s) be removed from the premises. Initials verify that the Tenants understand this paragraph.

I am not a lawyer nor am I giving legal advice by providing this information.  

Thank you Dan! This is a good idea! I will strongly consider it as an addition or change to my lease. I currently have language that states the appliances are provided "as is", but it doesn't go into detail on who is responsible for care and maintenance like your language does.

Thanks @Max T. , @Wesley W. , and @Account Closed for your input. What Max suggested is exactly what I wanted to do, but then I started second guessing.....primarily because what tenant would want to contribute to the cost of a new appliance? So I wanted to cover my bases to ensure I'm being fair to the tenant as well as to myself.

Thanks again!

I would bet the company that told you the part is out of production could tell you the old price and give you a labor cost to install.  Charge the tenant that price and eat the rest.  This is what your repairs and capex funds are for.

Buying a new stove to replace a stove that is 11 years old makes no logical scenes to me unless you are simply trying to take advantage of a tenant to get a new replacement. If I were your tenant you would have a fight on your hands and possibly a vacant unit out of spite.

There is no reason you should not be able to find a good used one on Craig's list a couple of years old for half the price or less of new. 

A 11 year old stove has used up 2/3 of it's life expectancy, there is no way you can legally justify replacing with new. Either find the replacement top, justifying the cost billed to the tenant, or find a used one at a lower cost. You, as the landlord, will still benefit from having a newer stove if you go used.   

@Nerissa Marbury another lesson to be learned -- do NOT have anything made of glass in a rental, because, sooner or later, a tenant WILL break it. You can bank on that. If you have to replace this stove, remember, NO GLASS. I reluctantly allow glass windows coz they're kinda required by law ...

You can only charge them the pro-rated value of the stove....if its 11 years old, its not worth much. There are some references out there but I'd estimate the lifespan average is 15 years?

Look for a used stove of reasonable condition and that's what the tenant should pay...if you want to go new, you eat the difference

Originally posted by @Thomas S. :

Buying a new stove to replace a stove that is 11 years old makes no logical scenes to me unless you are simply trying to take advantage of a tenant to get a new replacement. If I were your tenant you would have a fight on your hands and possibly a vacant unit out of spite.

There is no reason you should not be able to find a good used one on Craig's list a couple of years old for half the price or less of new. 

A 11 year old stove has used up 2/3 of it's life expectancy, there is no way you can legally justify replacing with new. Either find the replacement top, justifying the cost billed to the tenant, or find a used one at a lower cost. You, as the landlord, will still benefit from having a newer stove if you go used.   

Thomas if you read my entire post above, I'm not trying to get a new stove out of the deal. I was trying to find the part so it could be repaired. Unfortunately not only does the part + labor cost almost the same cost of a new stove, but the part is also no longer manufactured.

So before you imply I'm trying to get over on my tenant read the entire post. If I purchase a new stove, I plan to only charge the tenant the amount she would have paid to have the damaged stove repaired. I do not plan or never intended to have her pay the entire cost of the stove.....just because.

Originally posted by @Alvin Sylvain :
@Nerissa Marbury another lesson to be learned -- do NOT have anything made of glass in a rental, because, sooner or later, a tenant WILL break it. You can bank on that. If you have to replace this stove, remember, NO GLASS. I reluctantly allow glass windows coz they're kinda required by law ...

I hear what you're saying, but no lesson is needed to be learned. The house wasn't originally purchased to be a rental property. It was a house I lived in. So for me to move out and then buy replacement appliances because I turned it into a rental was overkill.

If the property was bought for rental purposes from day 1, I absolutely hear you.

Good thing black Friday is right around the corner!  Stoves abound at HD, Lowes, Sears etc..

Originally posted by @Ned J. :

You can only charge them the pro-rated value of the stove....if its 11 years old, its not worth much. There are some references out there but I'd estimate the lifespan average is 15 years?

Look for a used stove of reasonable condition and that's what the tenant should pay...if you want to go new, you eat the difference

I plan to charge them the cost of the repair same as if the part was readily available. 

If I did want to inquire about used but still new stoves, where would one go? I would like to price compare to the new stoves that are currently on sale.

Originally posted by @Maurice D. :

Good thing black Friday is right around the corner!  Stoves abound at HD, Lowes, Sears etc..

 Yes, that is one of the reasons why the cost for a new stove is much closer to the cost of the parts and labor. It didn't even cross my mind that I'd be this lucky until I looked to see what a stove with similar features to my existing stove would cost. Since I wasn't looking for newer or fancier features, that keeps costs down too.

If I did want to inquire about used but still new stoves, where would one go? I would like to price compare to the new stoves that are currently on sale.

Originally posted by @Ned J. :

You can only charge them the pro-rated value of the stove....if its 11 years old, its not worth much. There are some references out there but I'd estimate the lifespan average is 15 years?

Look for a used stove of reasonable condition and that's what the tenant should pay...if you want to go new, you eat the difference

I plan to charge them the cost of the repair if the part was available. 

If I did want to inquire about used but still new stoves, where would one go? I would like to price compare to the new stoves that are currently on sale.

@Nerissa Marbury If you have a Habitat for Humanity Restore where you live, I’d go there. They make sure their items work before they go on the floor, they sell used (sometimes like new) and the money they make goes to HfH. You mentioned you owned this home for you and then turned it into a rental. Do you not have a home warranty on the property? If you do, wouldn’t this be covered, you’d only pay a deductible to fix, and you could just charge the tenant that. -just a thought, if it’s an option.

try 5miles.com  similar to craigslist, but sellers have reputation/feedback.

I was going to suggest replacing it with used.

stay clear of used apliance stores.  they are just like used car lots :)

@Nerissa Marbury - go 1/2 and 1/2 with the tenant; that's fair. Yes, you're coming out of pocket, however it will be a new unit that will hopefully last a long time. If someone hits your car and it's not brand new, you're not going to get reimbursed for a new one. Alternatively, buy a used range and have her pay the full amount. 

Create Lasting Wealth Through Real Estate

Join the millions of people achieving financial freedom through the power of real estate investing

Start here