It is a common situation, a tenant moves out and there are damages to the interior walls or ceiling, or perhaps you are a tenant and something has happened that you need to get it fixed before your next house inspection. In whatever case, whose responsibility is it to repair damaged calls or ceilings in a renal property?
The answer is dependent on the cause of the damage. If a hole in the wall was made on purpose, by someone punching a wall, or a party that turned wild, or a car driving into the garage wall by accident, these situations, a tenant would be responsible for repairing the walls or ceilings because the cause was preventable and was caused by the tenant. If the damage to the wall was done during a storm and the tenants took reasonable care of the property in this time, it is the homeowner’s responsibility to repair the damage.
The role of the property manager here is to mediate between the tenant and the homeowner and organise any repair work to be done in a timely manner.
How to repair a hole in the wall in a rental property
If you are a tenant and you or someone you are responsible for has punched a hole in the wall of your rental property, you’ll need to find a way to fix the damage without expecting the landlord to pay for it. The best way to go about doing this is to firstly disclose the incident to the property manager with images and description. Then you will need to organise trades or use the trades that the rental agency uses.
The payment for this will be sent to your account, meaning that you will pay for it. If you try to conceal the damage and do it yourself, the result may be sufficient if it is a small hole in the wall, however you need to be aware that an exit report when you vacate the property could result in the money for the repair coming out of your rental bond.
The cost of repairing a hole in the wall in a rental property
Often, small dents or holes in the wall in a rental property can be classified as normal wear and tear. However there are times when the damage is more extensive and the property manager and the landlords can deduct the cost of repairing a hole in the wall from a tenant’s deposit.
The cost of repairing a hole in the wall of a rental property will vary depending on the damage. Once the incident and damage has been reported to the property manager, a decision will be made about who is liable for the cost of repairs. The property manager’s mediation role comes into play at this point. Most of the time it is a clear answer as to who is responsible for the costs, but when there is a dispute about this, the property manager must professionally manage the relationship between the tenant and homeowner, by clear, timely communication.
The cost of repairing a hole in the wall of a rental property can range anywhere from $150 for small 50c coin sized repairs, to $1000 or more for damage that requires sections of board to be removed and plasterboard installation services. The cost depends on the size of the hole, where it’s located, and whether the homeowner wants to hire a professional plasterer or a handyman to do the repair.
Repairs covered by insurance
If the damage is extensive and caused by a storm, insurance may cover it, the homeowner will have to organise this.Your role as a tenant in the situation wherein damage is caused by something out of your control such as a ceiling sagging due to moisture caused by a leaking roof, is to firstly report the damage to the property manager in a timely manner to prevent further damage, and cooperate with trades coming in to do the repairs.
The cost of these repairs is often covered by the homeowner’s insurance policy, which often means they will get a cash payout and be able to organise trades through the property manager. As a tenant it is helpful to document the damage with photos, videos and in writing to not only protect yourself but also help in making the insurance claim which will thereby speed up the process to get repairs done.
When does the homeowner pay for repairs?
When damage is due to normal wear and tear such as a hole in the wall caused by a door knob that caused damaged to the plasterboard behind it, the homeowner will need to pay for the repairs.
When a tenant has vacated and the exit report shows damage to the house that was beyond the tenant’s control, such as water damage on the ceiling and walls caused by a leaking roof, it is the homeowner’s responsibility to pay for repairs.
As a tenant, you are entitled to live in a safe place. If damage caused by a storm or by another person’s negligence such as a non-related party driving into your garage, wall or fence, the landlord must pay for the repairs to restore the property to a reasonable and safe standard. If you feel that your property manager is not being proactive enough about repairs or communication, you can escalate to the rental management manager above them.
Make sure to get everything in writing and document carefully as you need evidence of dates and the situation if this issue escalates to involve the rental bureau. In the end, normal wear and tear is expected in a rental property and will be covered by the homeowner, when damage is caused by neglect, or is the responsibility of the tenant, the cost of repairs will be deducted from the rental bond. It is the property manager’s role to mediate and organise repairs.