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Water damage in rental property who is responsible?

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  • Water damage in rental property who is responsible?

    Hello,
    I have a question, and if possible for you to provide pertinent law references to the following:
    I have rented my property for several years; the property was handed over in a very good and maintained condition. Over the years whenever there was a problem that I became aware of, I attended and fixed it promptly. After the lease was up, I have inspected the property discovered water damage and mold in one of the rooms. In what circumstances it would be the Tenant's (or landlord's) responsibility, given that I had no knowledge of the water damage until after the tenant has vacated the property and I could freely inspect the property?
    Can I deduct the cost of repair from the deposit?

  • #2
    Re: Water damage in rental property who is responsible?

    It depends on what caused it. Was it a pipe that sprang a leak behind the wall (your problem) or was it a constant overspray from a shower (possibly the tenants expense)?

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    • #3
      Re: Water damage in rental property who is responsible?

      I wish to inform you that damages on account of normal wear and tear of the water system will be to the account of the landlord. However, damages due to the negligence of the tenant will be to the account of the tenant. If you inspected the house while the tenant was leaving along with the tenant and no damage was reported to the tenant, then it may be difficult to make a claim at this stage. Further, you can only claim the amount for the residual life of the building and equipment damaged after deducting the depreciation. You may expeditiously inform the tenant of the damage, make the repairs and deduct the bill from the security deposit of the tenant.

      AFF

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      • #4
        Re: Water damage in rental property who is responsible?

        Originally posted by gedit View Post
        Hello,
        I have a question, and if possible for you to provide pertinent law references to the following:
        I have rented my property for several years; the property was handed over in a very good and maintained condition. Over the years whenever there was a problem that I became aware of, I attended and fixed it promptly. After the lease was up, I have inspected the property discovered water damage and mold in one of the rooms. In what circumstances it would be the Tenant's (or landlord's) responsibility, given that I had no knowledge of the water damage until after the tenant has vacated the property and I could freely inspect the property?
        Can I deduct the cost of repair from the deposit?
        It depends upon what caused the water damage. A leak behind a wall? How much mold? How long had it been there, the water leaking? These questions need to be answered before one can claim the tenant was negligent not reporting the damage.

        My response would be to have a professional estimate how long the damage is indicated to be there based upon the extent of the damage and amount of mold. Then if the tenant should have reported it, you would be within your rights to withhold the damage deposit to apply to repairs.

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