Insurance for tenant damage

Rob asks:
(updated on Wednesday, May 06th 2020)

Our tenant's washing machine leaked and flooded the laundry. This has resulted in a warped wash house floor and door as well as damage to the carpet in the hallway. It has happened two times in a row. It occurred four days ago but they only told us about it today. I don't think our insurance will cover the damage. Are the tenants liable for the costs of repairs?

Our Experts Answer:

Under the Residential Tenancies Act there is provision for a tenant to be held accountable for damage caused by their own careless acts. This involves the landlord making a statement in the tenancy agreement regarding their insurance cover as it applies to tenants’ careless damage.  Then any damage that the tenant causes carelessly will be recovered from the tenant up to the lesser of the owner’s insurance excess or four weeks’ rent.  If the owner isn’t insured for gradual damage such as you describe, you can expect that the tenant will be responsible up to the limit of four weeks’ rent.

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