Ruling on pen marks

Nate asks:
(updated on Monday, May 20th 2013)

I have a tenant who is moving out and the walls in every room and hallway are covered in pen marks from kids (two and a half year tenancy). The wallpaper was brand new when they moved in and they are happy to pay for the damage. How do I assess how much they need to pay? Is it for complete wall paper of the whole house?

Our Experts Answer:

This type of damage may be covered by an insurance policy, but in many cases the 'actions of children' may be excluded from the cover. Effective regular inspections may have shown this damage occurring over a period of time and the tenant could have been issued with a 14-day notice to remedy, thus perhaps preventing the ongoing damage occurring. Whilst the tenant is liable for the damage, the Tenancy Tribunal may rule that depreciation be applied and the tenant’s liability reduced. Only the impacted walls should be charged for and not necessarily the entire room if all walls are not damaged. The tenant could ask that the Tribunal rule on the outcome.

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