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Damage by tenant locked in bathroom

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Author Topic: Damage by tenant locked in bathroom  (Read 41 times)
Posts: 6

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« on: January 13, 2020, 12:21:41 PM »

hi all, my first post so appreciate your thoughts.  My first rental too so a real newbie.

We rented our home of 22 yrs out in October.  It was not a buy to let, it was a much loved house.  It was refurbished to a very high standard, new kitchen, flooring, light system etc.I have  had several small complaints which I have arranged to  have fixed within 48 hrs. 

I had an email yesterday to say the tenant had locked herself into the downstairs toilet and was unable to get out even with a key from the inside so her father came and knocked through the door and took the frame off!

The photos show considerable damage. we were horrifed as it is 1920s original. In your experience would this be my responsibility as she is saying the lock was faulty.  But in all our years of lvingin in it as a family it has never stuck.  She has also pulled off a brand new ceiling cord and now the front door handle has come loose, all were in perfect conditon when we left.  She sounds heavy handed, but my key question is damage vs wear and tear and my responsibility.
Many thanks, Angi
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Posts: 757

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« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2020, 02:19:27 PM »

I had a tenant like this once.She was continually fusing lights,getting "electric shocks" off things,everything she touched got broken.I would have found it intolerable if this had been my own home,and question whether this is a good idea for you.Not many tenants will respect your home as you would like.I would be inclined to get the removed door and lock inspected by a locksmith (if you still have it) to ascertain what happened. If he finds nothing wrong,I would present her with a bill for a new suitable door. "Several small complaints in a few months" Hmm,maybe you have been too quick to act,you are not expected to deal with every petty problem tenants report. 
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« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2020, 02:36:41 PM »

It doesn't matter what the house was for the previous 22 years. Now it's just an asset that you're using to earn money. There's no point being sentimental about it because the truth is your tenants don't really care.

What sort of lock was it? From your description it doesn't sound like a modern bathroom mortice lock. Old locks can and do fail without warning and it's going to be hard to prove it didn't stick. Claim on your insurance.
Posts: 6

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« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2020, 03:36:27 PM »

Many thanks for your replies.  Yes I think it will have to be an insurance claim.  I think she is very heavy handed though!  She calls every 2-3 weeks and as  my first rental not sure how I shoul dhav handled.  Maybe I  have been too quick to reply.  Will ask a locksmith to look too.
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