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imorozova

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Posts: 3
Reply with quote  #1 
I have an expensive duplex in downtown Anchorage and rent half of it for a very reasonable price. I discovered that there is damage to the siding by the tenant's front door. There were a few noticeable holes in the wood siding like someone was hitting the house with something sharp.

I notified my tenant immediately, which was in October of 2013. She did not object and asked to arrange the repairs since she knows a lot of contractors. I did not mind and allowed her to do so. I figured she can save some money this way and also get someone reputable.

We met with the contractor, got a bid for a replacement of a few peaces of siding, and moved forward. The contractor assured me that he will match the siding and I will never know that the damage was there. This was my main concern as I want to maintain the value of my property. However, the contractor acted carelessly. The measurements of the siding were not taken and the wood he delivered did not match. I disallowed the installation. The contractor agreed to find different wood and keep the price that he originally gave us. It is February now. The contractor provided three more samples of wood, none of them matched.

The contractor said he considered every possibility on the wood and doesn't think he can complete the job, but now it is a mission for him to do it right. I took the initiative and found a few places out of state that can custom make the wood for me, but it will cost a lot more because of the set up fees for the equipment and shipping cost (probably 3-4 times more than the original bid). I also suggested to my tenant that she gets her deposit back since that contractor cannot complete the job, and I would hire someone else.

My tenant said this is not reasonable and she will dispute any additional charges for the change in the contract and custom wood. She said she is willing to cover only up to the amount which was originally quoted. However, the bid had wrong assumptions that the contractor can use the wood that he has. The only way to do it right is to custom make the wood. My tenant also suggested patching the holes. I did not agree, because a few years from now I will end up with holes in the siding as the patching will not last. Besides, it would not look the same and will reduce the value of my property.

My understanding is my tenant should bring the property back to the original condition (except for normal wear and tear, which is not the case here). She thinks I am not reasonable with repair expectations and may want to take the issue to court. I  have her security deposit which should be enough to cover the damage, and I am planning to keep part of it to cover the cost of the repair to bring the property back to its original condition.

Could anybody advise me on this situation? Also, what is reasonable and how would the court look at it?  Thank you very much.
skrieger

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Posts: 143
Reply with quote  #2 
If your story is balanced, i.e, you aren't being overly picky that the random tenant or guest wouldn't notice the slight change in color or shade of siding, I think you have a point.  Just make sure you have everything documented to show you were attempting to be completely fair to the tenant to make the repairs.  Thus if she takes you to court you will be covered as best you can.  But before you make your move, ask youself if losing this tenant is worth it?  It sounds like you may have a very reasonable tenant.  How many months of vacancy would it take for you to just negotiate with your tenant where you pay for the additional amount and all be happy?  I tend to be more flexible with good long term tenants.  Sometimes it helps sometimes it doesn't. Good luck!
imorozova

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Posts: 3
Reply with quote  #3 
Thank you for your help. 

This tenant is a pain and I don't want to renew the lease.  It is up in 3.5 months. They have too many people staying there on and off (5 adult kids, 8 grand kids that spend the night frequently and party).  There were complains from the neighbors about noise and parties.  In a year and a half that I owned the property, six things were broken, including a refrigerator, a stove, light switches, and now the siding.  I have been covering all the expenses, but the siding is clearly their responsibility.  Also, I am renting it for about $400/month under the market value as they were here before I bought the place, and I did not increase the price when I renewed the lease because they were nice to me.  Also the place is somewhat outdated and needs some upgrades.  So I thought I would increase the price after I remodel.  I think I was more than reasonable with the tenant.  
skrieger

Registered:
Posts: 143
Reply with quote  #4 
It sounds like you were more than fair.  End the lease.  Remodel and get better tenants in there.
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