As a landlord, am I responsible for paying for breakages?

As a landlord, am I responsible for paying for breakages?

Unfortunately, breakages are inevitable in any rental property

If you’re a landlord in the Dartford and Crayford areas, you’re probably already aware of the problems that can arise if you have a particularly accident-prone tenant. While breakages are inevitable from time to time in any rental property, there are some tenants who seem to break far more items than others.

A question we often get asked is “As a landlord, is it my responsibility to cover the costs of repairing breakages, or should the tenant take responsibility?” It’s a great question, and our expert team here at Livermores The Estate Agents is here to offer some insight into the situation.

When should the tenant take responsibility for damages and breakages?

Although a landlord is usually responsible for covering the cost of certain repairs in their property, if the tenant themselves (or their guests or family members) cause the damage, the responsibility falls on them to pay for the repairs to be carried out, even in cases where the damage has been caused to a fixture, fitting or item that would usually be the responsibility of the landlord to cover.

For example, the landlord would usually cover the cost of repairing a broken door lock, however, if the lock broke because the tenant deliberately damaged it in an attempt to access the property after losing their key, the responsibility for paying for a new lock would fall to the tenant.

Should I cover the cost of repairs even if I’m not legally obliged to?

Although a tenant should take responsibility for the cost of repairing any damage that they’ve caused, there are some cases in which a landlord may choose to be more practical in their approach and to cover the cost even if they’re not obliged to.

You may wish to do this as a gesture of goodwill to thank the tenant for usually taking good care of the property, or the item may soon have needed to be replaced anyway due to it being old or in poor condition.

What should I do if there is a dispute?

In some cases, your tenant may not agree that they are responsible for the damage, and therefore, will not agree to the cost of repairing it. This can result in tension and some significant potential issues, especially if their tenancy is only partway through.

Fortunately, our Property Managers deal with these kinds of situations on a daily basis and can offer the help and guidance required for both landlords and tenants to prevent any escalation of a dispute. As always though, it makes sense to be prepared to provide sufficient evidence to support any side of a dispute by ensuring that  a detailed inventory was agreed at the start of the tenancy.

Thanks to our many years of experience in the local rental market, we’re your top choice for all your rental property management needs. Call our Dartford office on 01322228090 or our Crayford office on 01322 550777 or send an email to our letting teams on to learn more about how we can help.