Question from Heather updated on 20th July 2018:
Recently, my rental property had a window smashed by my tenants "associate". She has admitted it was one of two people who she fell out with. They have paid to have it repaired but are now disputing the legality of it. My excess is well over the cost so it won't be covered by insurance. I would appreciate it if you could clarify the situation for me.
Our expert Bernard Parker responded:
A tenant is responsible for their own actions and those of any other person who is permitted by the tenant to be on the property. In this case, it appears that the tenant’s “associate” was on the property with her permission. If the associate broke the window “intentionally” (i.e. they intended the action which resulted in the broken window), then the tenant is ultimately responsible for repair. The tenant can claim immunity from cost if the action was “unintentional”. However, it would be up to the tenant to prove that the damage was unintentional.
Bernard is principal of Quinovic – Kapiti-Mana. Quinovic's outstanding people and systems provide the most professional, effective and reliable residential property management service in the NZ market for over 30 years.