Waste disposal damage

Question from Lesley updated on 10th January 2013:

My tenant phoned to say the waste disposal unit had stopped working. I asked him if anything had gone down that shouldn't have and he said he didn't know. He then checked and came back to me to say that he thinks there might be a fork stuck in it ... I believe that he is responsible for getting this fixed, not me because the fork has caused the damage. Is that right?


Our expert Diane Nelson responded:

The Tenancy Tribunal often looks upon this type of damage differently to an owner.  The tenant may be liable to pay for repairs but questions could be asked, like was the tenant fully informed of the operation of the appliance? Could this have been accidental?  You can issue him with a 14-day notice and followup through the tribunal if it is not repaired.  Insurance more than likely would not cover this type of loss.

Diane Nelson has over 14 years experience as a property manager in the Northland region. She now owns the REAL Landlord Insurance NZ Ltd brokerage and for over six years has specialised in the Landlord Preferred Policy,for investment owners who have their properties professionally managed. Diane also runs property management consultancy business Passionate about Property Management.

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