We recently got some fence work done on a rental property. We found the fencing company before and loved them so we used them for this property. One of the workers from the fencing company accidentally got stain on the tenants truck and motorcycle. The truck is a rental through enterprise so we decided to let enterprise handle it. For the motorcycle our tenant is indicating that it's a custom denim paint and will cost anywhere between $5k to $7K to fix. He indicated he will file a claim with his insurance company for the bike.
When this initially happened the fencing company owner gave us his insurance but after trying to file a claim we realized it's worker's comp only. Since then the fencing company is being very flaky and refusing to give us their insurance information.
My question is who is responsible for this incident? Do we have any recourse against the fencing company other than leaving a bad yelp review?
Refusing to give you their non-existant insurance probably.
You might have some financial exposure here.
hopefully you have something in your lease about " you should really have rental insurance because we aren't responsible for damage to your property" but even if you do it was your guys who ruined a pretty valuable motorcycle. I can actually believe the custom paint job being pretty expensive. Bravo for tenant for having it properly insured.
Tenants insurance will likely file a claim against the company's insurance, if it exists. Be as helpful as possible since you are next in line. If they don't have insurance I think the insurance company will go after them directly which you should encourage.
Thank You Jonathan. We actually do have something in the lease that states that.
I'm wondering is we can take any action against the fencing company on our end. To start with they took longer than their original estimate on finishing the job. On top of that even though we were following up with them on an update they weren't responsive. Then they just showed up one day started the staining without any prior notice or checkin.
I was looking into reporting them to the Better Business Bureau. I was wondering if anyone has had any experience with that. Would there be any value in taking that route?
This is why it's important to only use licensed, insured professionals and you have to verify that because you can't trust what they tell you. The fencing company is obviously responsible. If they refuse to communicate, file a claim with small claims court.
@Swathi Vijayakumar the BBB is money making scam with less reliable reviews than Google or others.
The fencing company should be responsible, but $5-7K for a paint job on a bike (yes you can tell I'm not in to bikes or cars)!
I agree with @Matthew Lodata we've tried to report a shoddy roofer before and the BBB did nothing even though the person took $2K and didn't finish the job.
Thank you Nathan. That'll definitely be a lesson learned for next time. I definitely made a mistake not getting their license and insurance information prior to hiring them. I naively assumed that since they had good reviews on yelp they were fine. Plus I had used them for fence work on my house and they were very professional and timely. I still should have done my hw rather than just trusting blindly.
BBB is not really doing anything but looking out for themselves. If a company will 'join'--pay the $ then they pretty much always will be an A. Otherwise, even with no bad comments they get a lower rating for something--being too new, whatever. And all they do is take your letter give it the the other side and then give you their response if they choose to answer.
It is in your interest to help both Enterprise and your Tenants Motorcycle Insurance collect from the contractor. I would get them all the info you have on:
- the insurance info you have (agent may have or know of the Liability coverage)
- The contractors name, address, contact info
- If the owner of the business name, address, etc.
- the name of the employee who caused the damage
Check with your state's consumer protection agency to see if they can be of any assistance. If the contractor needs a license in your state, you may be able to file a complaint with that state agency.
Thank You John. This is really helpful.