Property damage - tenant pays or Insurance claim?

Y'all, Its been a while since I've visited these shores, so How is everyone?

Got word of a small fire in the kitchen of my IP (Canberra). Apparently the lady of the house left a pan full of oil on the cooktop while she took a shower or went to sleep or something equally "responsible".

Anyway it flared up, burnt the rangehood filters to a crisp, Burnt the Pantry, overhead cabinets next to the rangehood, smoked the ceiling and possibly the walls etc, etc.

Agent tells me that the tenant wanted me to claim on insurance and he would pay the excess. I informed the agent to tell him to stop being an idiot. The agent agreed then proceeded to get quotes for him to pay the lot himself (as I would have expected).

Next thing I hear is that he's approached the Tenants union ACT who have given him legal advice that:

"Damages to the landlords property has to be fixed in the options which ever is cheaper.

If private quotes are higher than the insurance. Then the landlord has to go with the insurance.

If the landlord is not happy to claim the insurance for what ever reason , then he has to put an application to the tribunal justifying why he does't want to go via insurance.

This is the advise that was given to me by the Tenants Union legal advisor."


Now wait a minute. Am i bloody dreaming here? Do I get a say in all this? If we just put aside the cheek of this guy for a second, I need to consider the fact that my premiums will almost certainly rise next year, and that I will now have a black mark against my name for the purposes of finding other insurance. Is he also going to compensate me for that? How is it that the law can permit this cockroach to direct me on how I should use my insurance ? WTF ??? :mad:

Anyone seen this before ???
 
interesting question. I guess it woul dbe wahtver woul dbe the situation if you were living there and caused the same damage?

it's the same as LL insurance... I don't really get the notion that you need to take out insurance so that tenants can run on the rent and destroy your property without fear of paying for it. It's not really insurance, it's passing the buck. Last time it happened to me the PM was just 'oh well just lodge a claim with the insurer' and i was like 'why don't you do your job and pursue the dam idiots that did it and I won't have to pay an excess'. Of course they had no forwading address and clue at all really and by that stage I had adopted a few local druggies and a couple of dogs and a cat that no one seemed to claim ownership of and I was getting harassed by the council for these stupid dogs that attacked other peoples dogs in the streets... this was all with a no pets policy
 
our previous tenant damaged the second drawer of our brand new vanity. Obviously they put wet stuff on the edge of drawer, causing water damage. They said it was wear and tear. Real Ash***. I will post the potose here later on.
 
The thing is, I've been a critic of DHA for a long time. The houses are too expensive to get into in the first place and their commission is a bit over the top at 16.5%.

But I gotta tell you, its times like these that the whole DHA thing starts to smell like lavender. I have a DHA property which has been with them for 4 years and has another 5 to go. I don't even know if its vacant or not. Couldn't care less either. In all that time I have not heard a peep from them. All I know is the money goes in the bank every month.
 
I need to consider the fact that my premiums will almost certainly rise next year, and that I will now have a black mark against my name for the purposes of finding other insurance.
Whilst car insurance policies go up, because you're deemed to be a "less safe" driver once you've had a claim, my understanding is that home, contents, and landlord policies don't generally work the same way. eg If you've had a claim as a result of a storm, that doesn't mean that *you* are a riskier prospect than you were before the claim. We had a $250K claim on our home and contents insurance last year (after a flood) and our premiums - with the same insurer - went down about 20% this year. :cool: Premiums can go up if the whole city, for example, had a huge claim, and the whole city is perceived as riskier, but an individual policy holder can't be deemed to be risker for having been affected by a random event.

There are some specific types of claim which may cause their perception of your risk to rise, eg if you have a claim for a dog bite, they may deem your dog as a higher risk and your policy could rise, but a fire by a tenant would generally be viewed as "one of those things", IMHO, and I doubt your rates will rise.
 
We've claimed on LL insurance numerous times, and the premium has not changed.

We had a similar incedient once with an oven catching fire and the kitchen suffering subsequent smoke and water damage. We got a nice new stainless steel oven as a replacement from the insurance! :)



The Y-man
 
And if the tenant can't afford to fix it (which they probably can't) and you're insured, you're asking for the tenant to do something else nasty to your house because you're being petty. Insurance exists for a reason ...

Like others, I've had home insurance claims (2 at my last house) and it didn't affect the premium. And they somehow managed to waive the excess, probably because I was very pregnant when the assessor came around and the baby's room was one of the damaged ones and that gets a sympathy card.
 
Have made quite a few claims for substantial amounts including a swimming pool. Premiums haven't changed. I'm surprised the tenant offered to pay the excess. The insurance company may even chase the tenant up for the cost of the damages but haven't heard of this happening in along time.
 
Insurance does exist for a reason, But Excuse me Mrs Elf . . . This is not it.

I don't pay insurance so that the tenant has peace of mind. I pay it for my own. If he wants peace of mind he can take out his own policy. You seem to have missed the whole point of my post. My biggest gripe is not with the cost but with his attitude. The money side of things I'm not happy with but its not going to be the deal breaker here. A couple of months ago the agent recommended a rent increase of $20 per week, when the tenant received the notice and stated that they would leave I cancelled the increase and told the agent that if they had been reasonable tenants they could stay without an increase. I thought that it was a gesture of goodwill on my part that would see them stay for some time whilst looking after the place. So don't call me Petty whilst the tenant tries to dodge accountability and save himself a couple of hundred dollars by making me jump through hoops and wasting my valuable time with tribunals etc.

The tenant CAN afford to pay for the damage. I know him. He's not short of a dollar. In fact his income is way above mine. Why would you assume he can't pay? Do you know him?

In the end I will probably end up making the claim but this forum is in place so that we can discuss these things in a positive and civilised manner without attacking the poster. If we cant raise issues without being attacked by somebody with a different opinion whats the bloody point of having the facility. Why don't you follow the posting rules on your own sustainable living forum. If you want to start getting personal Elf Girl, go on another forum. There's no room for it here.
 
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Y'all, Its been a while since I've visited these shores, so How is everyone?

Got word of a small fire in the kitchen of my IP (Canberra). Apparently the lady of the house left a pan full of oil on the cooktop while she took a shower or went to sleep or something equally "responsible".

Anyway it flared up, burnt the rangehood filters to a crisp, Burnt the Pantry, overhead cabinets next to the rangehood, smoked the ceiling and possibly the walls etc, etc.

Agent tells me that the tenant wanted me to claim on insurance and he would pay the excess. I informed the agent to tell him to stop being an idiot. The agent agreed then proceeded to get quotes for him to pay the lot himself (as I would have expected).

Next thing I hear is that he's approached the Tenants union ACT who have given him legal advice that:

"Damages to the landlords property has to be fixed in the options which ever is cheaper.

If private quotes are higher than the insurance. Then the landlord has to go with the insurance.

If the landlord is not happy to claim the insurance for what ever reason , then he has to put an application to the tribunal justifying why he does't want to go via insurance.

This is the advise that was given to me by the Tenants Union legal advisor."


Now wait a minute. Am i bloody dreaming here? Do I get a say in all this? If we just put aside the cheek of this guy for a second, I need to consider the fact that my premiums will almost certainly rise next year, and that I will now have a black mark against my name for the purposes of finding other insurance. Is he also going to compensate me for that? How is it that the law can permit this cockroach to direct me on how I should use my insurance ? WTF ??? :mad:

Anyone seen this before ???

that sucks but this is not law. Its just opinion / advice. your premiums for house insurance rise depending on the suburb, but yes you will have a black mark against your name which may or may not affect future insurance options. I haven't read the whole thread yet
why do you have to pay?
What section of law is this derivived from ? Has their been case law to confirm this particular situation?
 
The thing is, I've been a critic of DHA for a long time. The houses are too expensive to get into in the first place and their commission is a bit over the top at 16.5%.

But I gotta tell you, its times like these that the whole DHA thing starts to smell like lavender. I have a DHA property which has been with them for 4 years and has another 5 to go. I don't even know if its vacant or not. Couldn't care less either. In all that time I have not heard a peep from them. All I know is the money goes in the bank every month.

You wont have any problems in the future either except when the lease expires. Ask for a list each year as to what repairs have been done and you will be very surprised at what has been repair I would imagine. Be very diligent at this lease expiry stage.
If there is a structural problem eg old pipes ,fence falling down then you pay
 
I don't pay insurance so that the tenant has peace of mind. I pay it for my own. If he wants peace of mind he can take out his own policy.
No, he can't. You're talking about a claim against the building, and the tenant has no insurable interest in the building, and thus can't buy insurance. I can't find a reference to it, unfortunately, but it is an established principle under common law that if you have insurance to cover a loss, and somebody who you've authorised to use the insured asset suffers a loss which is covered by that insurance, they can require you to make a claim. If you choose not to claim, their liability is limited to the excess that would have been payable.

You let somebody live in your property, and they had an accident. (Leaving aside the issue of whether leaving hot oil unattended is negligent, and could be proved.) The tenant can't insure against such an accident, and you've admitted that you have insurance. So you either lodge a claim, or accept payment of the excess as settlement.
Pedro61 said:
So don't call me Petty whilst the tenant tries to dodge accountability and save himself a couple of hundred dollars by making me jump through hoops and wasting my valuable time with tribunals etc.
Compared to you calling somebody a "cockroach", petty seems relatively benign. You don't have to jump through hoops and waste any money or time on Tribunals; you simply have to lodge a claim - done!
that sucks but this is not law. Its just opinion / advice. your premiums for house insurance rise depending on the suburb, but yes you will have a black mark against your name which may or may not affect future insurance options.
What makes you believe that 1) he doesn't have to claim, and 2) that a home insurance claim will affect future premiums?
 
The tenant CAN afford to pay for the damage. I know him. He's not short of a dollar. In fact his income is way above mine. Why would you assume he can't pay? Do you know him?

In the end I will probably end up making the claim but this forum is in place so that we can discuss these things in a positive and civilised manner without attacking the poster. If we cant raise issues without being attacked by somebody with a different opinion whats the bloody point of having the facility. Why don't you follow the posting rules on your own sustainable living forum. If you want to start getting personal Elf Girl, go on another forum. There's no room for it here.

I think you may be over-reacting .... you have had different opinions expressed by other posters. I can't see any attack in anyone's post, but your post seems to be close to a personal attack! Maybe have a re-read over both what's been posted and your reply, and see if you've misunderstood/ misinterpreted something, and then maybe come back and see if its worthwhile another edit.
good luck with all thats going on.. I can understand that its stressful. if it were me, I would have thought that buildings insurance would have covered the claim, and I'd rather have my insurance company running the claim than letting a tenant control the process. The insurance company will then work out whether to make a claim against the tenant.
cheers
Pen
 
I cannot understand why you are so angry and aggressive toward your tenant and PM.

Sure, it is a nuisance. But that is why you take our insurance. As Perp said, you have to have an "insurable interest" to take out insurance. As your tenant does not own the building, he/she cannot insure for damage to it.

It doesn't matter whether your tenant can afford to pay or not, the damage is covered by insurance therefore that is where the responsibility for repairs lies. The offer to pay the excess is more than reasonable.

Yes, accidents happen. I recall that, when I was a child, the chip pan caught fire in our kitchen.

Just be thankful that the damage is covered by insurance.
Marg
 
OK let’s see if I can draw a line under this and close it off.

Firstly – If I have offended anyone in this thread I apologise. I apologise to RumpledElf for my outburst and I apologise to everyone about the disparaging remark about the tenant. My first post was made about 5 minutes after getting the email from the agent and I was annoyed (to say the least) at the time. It is not my intent to offend on this forum. I am sincerely sorry.

Second – I am a person of principle and I believe in fighting for what I think is right. But I’m not so pigheaded as to continue the fight to the point where it starts causing grief to others, costing me money or worse. An analogy might be drawn about the pedestrian who continued to cross at a zebra crossing knowing that the car was coming way too fast. It’s pretty difficult to pursue your principles from the grave.

Thirdly – I value this forum and the vast experiences of its members. I have learnt much here and I generally have a calm demeanour. I know many of the members personally and I hope that they consider me generally to be a likeable chap. I’ll continue to be a member and try to contribute where I can.

Thank you all.
 
Pedro61,
Having a tenant damage your property is infuriating.
We had a tenant burn down our rental house, through neglect.It was a condition of their lease they have tenant insurance which protects their personal property and any liability they may have, which damages our property.They lied, and did not obtain the insurance.
After taking them to small claims court (Canada) we lost. Even though it was a condition of their lease to have this insurance, and because at that time we were fairly new to being a Landlord, we thought courts would know that tenant Insurance included the personal liabilty portion. We should have called an insurance broker to the stand to inform the courts.
You should contact your insurance company and ask for it in writing whether your premiums will increase and if there will be a black mark on your file, because of this claim.Also contact other insurance companies and ask if a tenant having a fire will put you in a higher risk category. You could use this at a tenancy hearing when requesting the tenant pay.

I'm sure even Australia has some type of tenant insurance with a liability component available. In Canada, a basic $1,000,000( 1 MILLION) policy is $100-$200 year.

Just because someone says it's not available, do your own research. You may be surprised by the results.

Good luck and keep us posted of how things turn out for you.
 
OK let’s see if I can draw a line under this and close it off.

Firstly – If I have offended anyone in this thread I apologise. I apologise to RumpledElf for my outburst and I apologise to everyone about the disparaging remark about the tenant. My first post was made about 5 minutes after getting the email from the agent and I was annoyed (to say the least) at the time. It is not my intent to offend on this forum. I am sincerely sorry.

Second – I am a person of principle and I believe in fighting for what I think is right. But I’m not so pigheaded as to continue the fight to the point where it starts causing grief to others, costing me money or worse. An analogy might be drawn about the pedestrian who continued to cross at a zebra crossing knowing that the car was coming way too fast. It’s pretty difficult to pursue your principles from the grave.

Thirdly – I value this forum and the vast experiences of its members. I have learnt much here and I generally have a calm demeanour. I know many of the members personally and I hope that they consider me generally to be a likeable chap. I’ll continue to be a member and try to contribute where I can.

Thank you all.

Hee hee, thank goodness I'm not the only one to have a tirade & then calm down & feel I may have over-reacted a bit! You're not alone!

...and yes, i still consider you a likeable chap :D
 
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