Dog’s breakfast floors

Question from Stephanie updated on 12th April 2013:

I am in the process of disputing the bond with my old tenants. The tenants were allowed to have a dog outside only, it was in the agreement but breached. The floors in the house now have scratches throughout, they were in perfect condition before the tenants moved in. Are the tenants liable to pay for costs to have floors polished back to the original condition? Also, is there any insurance that would cover this situation?

Our expert Diane Nelson responded:

I believe from your information that the tenant would be liable however you would need to present your evidence at a Tenancy Tribunal hearing. You should bear in mind that the Tribunal often reduces a claim due to wear and tear. Your building insurer may give cover for this type of damage, however many policies exclude losses caused by domestic pets.

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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