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Tenant Paying for Repairs?

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  • Aug 30th, 2010 6:38 pm
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Jan 15, 2004
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Tenant Paying for Repairs?

Hopefully this is in the right forum...

A few months ago we started renting a house and in the lease agreement it says that the tenant pays $50 for each repair performed. Now here's my situation:

We needed repairs on 3 things - exhaust fan, AC and stove

The exhaust fan and stove were fixed, however the guy filled gas in the AC but it leaked out the next day and it was discovered a new system was needed, so it's still not working.

When we got our part of the bill, it looks a bit fishy to me. According to the lease agreement we need to pay the first $50 of each repair but our bill was close to $200. Here's my questions:

i) If the AC still isn't fixed, does that count as a repair? (even though the service guy already billed the landlord for his time and labour, do we also have to be on the hook for that?)

ii) The bill lists 4 items: stove, AC, exhaust, labour (service call), so we got a bill for approx 4 x $50= $200 - from my understanding, labour should be included in the cost of each repair and shouldn't count as a separate repair - can it be counted as a separate item?

Looking forward to some help on this. Thanks!
17 replies
Deal Addict
Dec 23, 2005
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avid wrote:
Aug 25th, 2010 12:04 am
Hopefully this is in the right forum...

A few months ago we started renting a house and in the lease agreement it says that the tenant pays $50 for each repair performed. Now here's my situation:

We needed repairs on 3 things - exhaust fan, AC and stove

The exhaust fan and stove were fixed, however the guy filled gas in the AC but it leaked out the next day and it was discovered a new system was needed, so it's still not working.

When we got our part of the bill, it looks a bit fishy to me. According to the lease agreement we need to pay the first $50 of each repair but our bill was close to $200. Here's my questions:

i) If the AC still isn't fixed, does that count as a repair? (even though the service guy already billed the landlord for his time and labour, do we also have to be on the hook for that?)

ii) The bill lists 4 items: stove, AC, exhaust, labour (service call), so we got a bill for approx 4 x $50= $200 - from my understanding, labour should be included in the cost of each repair and shouldn't count as a separate repair - can it be counted as a separate item?

Looking forward to some help on this. Thanks!

First of all I wonder why any one would sign a lease that says they are responable for damage that was not the fault of the renter. What if say the roof developed a leak, would for be on the hook for that also?


1) No. It is not a repair if it was not fixed. I am sure the landlord will not pay the bill if it is not repaired properly.

2) From what I gather you feel that you should pay 150.00 and not 200.00. If that is correct then I agree with you. But only if you signed a paper that says "each repair" as opposed each visit by the repair person.


Dave
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Deal Addict
Dec 10, 2008
1648 posts
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Kitchener
there's a dif between damage and wear and tear.. we pay any reasonable wear and tear bills our tenants incur... and consider it just part of the cost of having a rental property.. plus most costs are tax deductable...
Deal Guru
Aug 2, 2001
12756 posts
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It's a weird situation to pay for the repairs as the tenant, but that aside, my point of view is that three items required repair - stove, exhaust fan and AC. If there are multiple service calls required to fix an item it does not change the fact that the original problem was not solved.

If a reasonable period of time had passed then I could see the logic of you paying twice. But it doesn't appear a reasonable period of time has passed, and the original problem was never corrected.


So, because you had three items requiring repair, you should be paying $50 x 3 (Plus GST/HST if that's your agreement). The number of service calls, or the charges incurred, is irrelevant with your agreement. Further, if the AC is not replaced (I didn't see it mentioned?) then you should not pay anything because the item was not repaired.
Deal Fanatic
May 29, 2006
7114 posts
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You should check with your province/citys rules regarding this. This clause may not even be legal. I have never heard of a renter having to pay for something broken unless it was damaged by the tenant due to misuse.

Sure its in the contract, but if the contract said you have to be a hooker every sunday night, would you do that also? There are laws to protect tenants. And I am far from an expert in this, but its worth a simply phone call to inquire.
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Jul 4, 2004
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TrevorK wrote:
Aug 25th, 2010 10:00 am
It's a weird situation to pay for the repairs as the tenant, but that aside, my point of view is that three items required repair - stove, exhaust fan and AC. If there are multiple service calls required to fix an item it does not change the fact that the original problem was not solved.

If a reasonable period of time had passed then I could see the logic of you paying twice. But it doesn't appear a reasonable period of time has passed, and the original problem was never corrected.


So, because you had three items requiring repair, you should be paying $50 x 3 (Plus GST/HST if that's your agreement). The number of service calls, or the charges incurred, is irrelevant with your agreement. Further, if the AC is not replaced (I didn't see it mentioned?) then you should not pay anything because the item was not repaired.
+1. Why would you agree to pay for anything during the rental agreement? It is a renters market out there. If something broke outside of normal wear and tear then that's fine - pay the man.
Deal Addict
Oct 15, 2007
2471 posts
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my agreement is repairs under $30 are the tenants responsibility,
which in today's world mean that unless the tenant does the repair themselves, they dont have to pay anything ever because most companies charge more than $30 just to come to the property

having to pay 50$ for each repair seems pretty rediculous for reasons already mentioned, especially if they are no fault of the tenant
then again, you signed the lease, not us

isnt one of the main perks of renting not having to worry about maintenance?
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Member
Apr 8, 2001
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I think it's more and more common for people to protect themselves from ridiculous "fix it calls, because I'm paying rent" or it simply prevents them from abusing what's provided to them. Our agreement has regular maintenance as our problem, but anything that goes that only they use - example fridge/stove in their area, we pay for all replacement/repair costs minus $50 that they pay for.

However, our agreement also says they can't hang pictures, punch holes in our walls without permission, but personally I feel that anyone who wants to put up family photos/paintings has pride in their place and I'm cool with it, as long as it's not ridiculous. It's worked well for us so far (*knock on wood*) and it also says we're responsible for changing their lightbulbs if they go. We don't mind, not that they have ever asked, but it's clear for everyone. This is to protect them too so that we're not always saying "it can be fixed for less than $50 so we're not going to worry about it" or something.
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Apr 30, 2009
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The Landlord is responsible for keeping the unit in good repair. This means things such as the furnace, certain appliances, electricity, etc.

Other things are the tenants responsibility.
Member
Dec 10, 2007
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Any landlord that has a tenant pay for any sort of repairs on breakdowns that are not intentional, is just a bad landlord.
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Nov 29, 2007
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avid wrote:
Aug 25th, 2010 12:04 am
A few months ago we started renting a house and in the lease agreement it says that the tenant pays $50 for each repair performed.
I'm not sure what area you live in, but at least in BC this type of arrangement is illegal; a landlord cannot require a tenant to pay for any repair or maintenance unless the damage was caused by deliberate or negligent action by the tenant and is beyond what is considered normal wear and tear. It doesn't matter what the landlord puts in the tenancy agreement; the Residential Tenancy Act strictly forbids any terms which contradict this legislation, and any such agreement would be unenforceable.

As a tenant the only maintenance you are responsible for is the cleaning of the property such that you "maintain reasonable health, cleanliness and sanitary standards".

EDIT: You can have an agreement to perform regular repair or maintenance on behalf of the Landlord, but you must then be compensated for doing so.

If you are concerned about it you should definitely check with your Province's Residential Tenancy Office.
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OldFortYork wrote:
Aug 26th, 2010 10:31 am
Any landlord that has a tenant pay for any sort of repairs on breakdowns that are not intentional, is just a bad landlord.
:lol:

Yeah, who would expect a (drum-roll please) tenant changing their own lightbulb or doing a minor repair.
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Nov 13, 2005
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avid wrote:
Aug 25th, 2010 12:04 am
Hopefully this is in the right forum...

A few months ago we started renting a house and in the lease agreement it says that the tenant pays $50 for each repair performed. Now here's my situation:

We needed repairs on 3 things - exhaust fan, AC and stove

The exhaust fan and stove were fixed, however the guy filled gas in the AC but it leaked out the next day and it was discovered a new system was needed, so it's still not working.

When we got our part of the bill, it looks a bit fishy to me. According to the lease agreement we need to pay the first $50 of each repair but our bill was close to $200. Here's my questions:

i) If the AC still isn't fixed, does that count as a repair? (even though the service guy already billed the landlord for his time and labour, do we also have to be on the hook for that?)

ii) The bill lists 4 items: stove, AC, exhaust, labour (service call), so we got a bill for approx 4 x $50= $200 - from my understanding, labour should be included in the cost of each repair and shouldn't count as a separate repair - can it be counted as a separate item?

Looking forward to some help on this. Thanks!
Rembrandt100 wrote:
Aug 25th, 2010 12:39 am
First of all I wonder why any one would sign a lease that says they are responable for damage that was not the fault of the renter. What if say the roof developed a leak, would for be on the hook for that also?


1) No. It is not a repair if it was not fixed. I am sure the landlord will not pay the bill if it is not repaired properly.

2) From what I gather you feel that you should pay 150.00 and not 200.00. If that is correct then I agree with you. But only if you signed a paper that says "each repair" as opposed each visit by the repair person.


Dave
Wow I would love to have you as a tenant!! None of my tenants are responsible for anything that breaks. Yes, if they cause any damage, based on the relationships that I have with them, I expect them to tell me or atleast repair the damage they caused.
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Beeg wrote:
Aug 26th, 2010 8:44 pm
:lol:

Yeah, who would expect a (drum-roll please) tenant changing their own lightbulb or doing a minor repair.
There are specific guidelines for certain items like light bulbs (which are a tenant responsiblity).
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Dec 23, 2005
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sunnybono wrote:
Aug 26th, 2010 9:28 pm
Wow I would love to have you as a tenant!! None of my tenants are responsible for anything that breaks. Yes, if they cause any damage, based on the relationships that I have with them, I expect them to tell me or atleast repair the damage they caused.

I am not sure why you would want me as a tenant. I would not have signed a paper that had those clauses in it. In fact I would go to the dude at Keele and the 401 who is offering a free 36" LCD TV with a 2 year rental. Many years ago I was a super at a 28 unit building. I can only remember a few instances where we made the tenant pay for damage. The one that happened the most was the tenant used a steak knife to defrost the fridge. And once I asked a tenant to clean up the blood that she created in the hallway when she found her partner in bed with a good friend of his. It was a fun couple of years.


Dave
You have enemies? Good. That means you stood up for something sometime in your life!
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