Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    17

    Default Tenant Breaks Toilet

    My question involves a security deposit in the State of: New York

    I am the landlord, and discovered a crack in the toilet caused by some impact. 1 tenant is moving out while the 2nd tenant of the same unit is staying. They said that it was normal wear and tear. I plan on deducting 1/2 the cost of replacing the toilet from tenant #1's security deposit. I plan on billing tenant #2 for the remaining 1/2 of the bill. Tenant #1 said she will sue me. Tenant #2 said she will not pay for the bill. Or should I deduct 100% of the bill from tenant #1's security deposit to guarantee that the bill gets paid? Suggestions?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    25,822

    Default Re: Tenant Breaks Toilet

    Did you actually receive separate deposits from the two tenants on the current lease?
    I am not an attorney and any advice is not to be construed as legal advice. You might even want to ignore my advice. Actually, there are plenty of real attorneys that you might want to ignore as well.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    71,820

    Default Re: Tenant Breaks Toilet

    Is the lease coming to an end, with only one tenant continuing? Are you releasing one tenant from the lease?

    What sort of crack are we talking about? How old is the toilet? You can only claim its depreciated value.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: Tenant Breaks Toilet

    i received 2 separate deposits. tenant #1 is moving out, and tenant #2 is resigning lease. Not sure of the exact age of the toilet, but it's about 5-10yrs old based on it's model #. The new toilet will cost $250, and $250 for install.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    71,820

    Default Re: Tenant Breaks Toilet

    You haven't bothered to answer the question about the crack. It's quite possible that a hairline crack dates back to a pre-installation issue, perhaps the box being dropped in a warehouse or a manufacturer's defect, and developed over time as opposed to being caused by something the tenant did. If you try to hold the tenant responsible for something, you need to be able to demonstrate that the tenant did something to cause the damage.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    1,995

    Default Re: Tenant Breaks Toilet

    Quote Quoting kakashi
    View Post
    My question involves a security deposit in the State of: New York

    I am the landlord, and discovered a crack in the toilet caused by some impact. 1 tenant is moving out while the 2nd tenant of the same unit is staying. They said that it was normal wear and tear. I plan on deducting 1/2 the cost of replacing the toilet from tenant #1's security deposit. I plan on billing tenant #2 for the remaining 1/2 of the bill. Tenant #1 said she will sue me. Tenant #2 said she will not pay for the bill. Or should I deduct 100% of the bill from tenant #1's security deposit to guarantee that the bill gets paid? Suggestions?
    I have to agree with "Knowitall" on this. I'm a NYC landlord, and you would have to prove that they caused the crack, not "a guess that it is some impact".

    If they take you to small claims, you would probably lose. On top of which, a more agressive and knowledgable tenant would file some "code violation complaints", and they'll always fine something, and by the time you're done with it, it'll cost you more than $250.00. To get code violations inspected where I am, the fee is $300.00.

    Would you believe one violation is a loose doorknob on the front door, and it costs $300 just to confirm the screws are now tightened.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: Tenant Breaks Toilet

    unless i was physically in the apt and saw the tenant crack the toilet, then I cannot be absolutely sure how the crack happened (but isn't this case for all hardware, appliances, etc?). All I know is that there is a chip on the side of the bowl and a long crack propagating from it, and toilet bowls do not chip by themselves. That is why I do not think it is deemed normal wear and tear. please leave me additional comments based on this information.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    1,995

    Default Re: Tenant Breaks Toilet

    Quote Quoting kakashi
    View Post
    unless i was physically in the apt and saw the tenant crack the toilet, then I cannot be absolutely sure how the crack happened (but isn't this case for all hardware, appliances, etc?). All I know is that there is a chip on the side of the bowl and a long crack propagating from it, and toilet bowls do not chip by themselves. That is why I do not think it is deemed normal wear and tear. please leave me additional comments based on this information.

    I didn't ask about your move-in, moveout procedures. There should a checklist for each room, signed by both landlord and tenant noting any apparent damages at the time of move in. Photos are even better. If you don't have this, the tenant can always claim they never noticed it. or it was there the day they moved in.

    If I were you, suggest that they pay for the damages, and see what they say. If they are violently against it, I would just back off.

    I've landlorded for about 30 years, and my father longer still before that, and my dad got into an argument with a tenant about some small damage some years back. Told the tenant he'll taking it from the security, which he did.

    After move-out, he found the tenant had poured cement down the drains, and clogged up all the plumbing, and he had to rip all the pipes out in the walls to replace. The repair for this was about hundred times the small damage he was trying to recover.

    If the tenant was smarter, he could've call in code violations on a number of things.

    Of course my dad could've sued, but he knew the tenant was totally broke, so he didn't even bother to waste his time. I always give my tenants the benefit of the doubt, and I consider $250 as small stuff.

    Also, if they sue you in small claims, a judge would recognise that it is a NEW toilet you're putting in, and will not even allow the entire $250.00. Depending on how old the toilet is, my guess is you'll be allowed maybe $100.00 to $125 at most.

    If these guys agree to chip in $50/each, I would think it's fair, and you'll be ahead of the game. If it was me, I would explain I'm giving them a break since the job would run you $250.00. But keep in mind if you go to court, you would not even be allowed $250 for a brand new toilet.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: Tenant Breaks Toilet

    thanks for the very helpful replies. i have photos but no checklist. How do you suggest I get my tenants to sign a checklist in the middle of a lease? They could just say no, right? Could I perhaps require them to sign by a certain date or else be assessed a fee?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    1,995

    Default Re: Tenant Breaks Toilet

    Quote Quoting kakashi
    View Post
    thanks for the very helpful replies. i have photos but no checklist. How do you suggest I get my tenants to sign a checklist in the middle of a lease? They could just say no, right? Could I perhaps require them to sign by a certain date or else be assessed a fee?

    If one guy moved out, and with perhaps another moving in, then it's a good time as any to get a checklist prepared, the place inspected, and signed off on. You just say to them that you're establishing a checkpoint to establish liability.

    The list would consists of sections by room, then items in each room listing light fixtures, blinds, appliances in the kitchen, fixtures in the bathroom, and next to each item is a blank line noting the condition. Then I have a few more blanks to note conditions of carpets, cracks in plaster if any. Notations by item would include cracks in the toilet, scratches on appliances, chips on tiles etc. The list would then be dated and signed by the landlord or his agent, and the tenant, both.

    In my case, I had enough issues with "roommate" type tenancies that I finally made it a rule that if one guy moves out, another moves in, it's a new lease unless I elect to let it continue.

    1. Sponsored Links
       

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 1
    Last Post: 08-01-2010, 02:27 AM
  2. Security Deposits: Tenant Replaced Toilet With a Cheaper Unit
    By usmcwife in forum Moving Out
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 06-21-2010, 01:44 PM
  3. Compensation and Overtime: Lunch Breaks vs. 10 Minute Breaks
    By denicedcat in forum Compensation and Terms of Employment
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: 02-22-2010, 07:08 AM
  4. Moving Out: Tenant Breaks Lease - What Are My Options
    By landlordrights in forum Moving Out
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 01-06-2009, 03:23 PM
  5. Replies: 1
    Last Post: 03-06-2008, 05:35 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
 
Forum Sponsor
Termination Forms
Notices to end your tenancy in all 50 states.




Untitled Document