Tenant repairs/ what to fix and what is tenant responsibility

6 Replies

Hey BP. I have a tenant that is complaining of a broken vanity door and mirror. I had an inspection of the property prior to be buying it 6 months ago and it was fine then. The tenant expects to have me fix the vanity and blames the damage on the humidity in the bathroom since the bathroom ceiling fan doesn’t properly channel the humidity out of the bathroom. I believe this tenants kids broke the items and is now expecting this to be repaired. Is this something that as a landlord you would repair or is this the duty of the tenant?

A ceiling fan can't ventilate a bathroom. An exhaust fan is well worth the investment but even then you have to set your expectation on how it is to be used by the tenant.  My state is humid to start with so I tell my tenants that they need to turn it on any time they're showering and leave it running for 15-30 minutes afterwards.  There are dehumidifiers that can be bought inexpensively (less than $50) that can be plugged into a bath and/or kitchen to help.  

And, your tenant's theory on why the door is damaged is pretty spot on:

"If there isn't enough ventilation in your bathroom, the humidity in the air can wreak havoc on woodwork such as vanity doors. ... In conditions of extreme humidity, the wood can swell or warp, and the doors may not close properly. You can fix most defects with glue, sandpaper, a wood plane and wood bleach." (End).

I would replace it with an expectation on how the fan is to be used to reduce humidity levels.  If it truly is a ceiling fan, it probably needs to be left on. 

The joys of owning real estate...

How long have the tenants lived there?  If they've been there for a while and it was fine when you bought it, I'd bet it was the tenant that damaged it.  Depending on the cost, you have a few options.  Tell them that the damage is unlikely to be from the humidity as the house was fine when you bought it and they'd been in place for years; however, this ONE time you will cover the costs.  I'd do regular inspections if you think this is a problem tenant. If the damage was from them, you can always have it repaired and bill them for it.

@Theresa Harris

The tenant has been living here since august 2019. I bought this house April 2020 and inspection was March 2020 With no damage to the mirror or vanity doors. They are not a problem tenant but she does have young kids who i think damage the items. The bathroom exhaust fan is due for replacement so I’ll replace it but the other items idk.

Originally posted by @Web Annacius :

@Theresa Harris

The tenant has been living here since august 2019. I bought this house April 2020 and inspection was March 2020 With no damage to the mirror or vanity doors. They are not a problem tenant but she does have young kids who i think damage the items. The bathroom exhaust fan is due for replacement so I’ll replace it but the other items idk.

I'd replace the fan.  Then she won't have an excuse.   You should be able to look at the mirror and see how it was damaged.

@Web Annacius unless tenants damage things multiple times I normally just take care of things for them. It isn't worth the hassle of trying to find new tenants, and this is the 5% maintenance that we underwrite for.