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Cleaning expense after warranty repairs
started a topic
almost 12 years ago
We owned a new construction (3BR townhouse) and rented it out to a tenant with a 2-year lease. At the end of the first year we had the builder performing warranty repairs with the tenant's permission. During the repair, the tenant complained that the contractors left a mess. We informed the field manager and were told that the contractors were supposed to clean up after themselves and left the house at least 90% clean. He sent someone over to inspect the situation and told us that they did fulfill their responsibility. The tenant insisted to call professional cleaning service and demanded the owners (us) to pay for the expense. My husband also went to inspect the house and discussed with the tenant's boyfriend who was at home at that time. The tenant's boyfriend knows of his ex-wife's Mexico worker will do it for $200. They agreed that the owner would pay if the cost was from $150 to $200 and it requires the tenant/cleaning service to provide itemized receipt for legitimate service related to the warranty repairs. This evening my husband called to offer coming over to clean up for the tenant and the tenant said that she has already called a cleaning service and gave her credit card. She said dirty words on the phone and the last they left was for the landlord to pay $200 and the tenant will cover the extra. My questions are two folds - 1) shall we even need to pay for the cleaning service (the tenant mentioned of cleaning of plant surface, cabinet, and lamps etc); 2) Even if we need to pay for it, shouldn't the landlord be given the itemized quote first, and/or involved in selecting the service provider? I would also like share some of our experiences with this tenant to help to put this into context. She asked for water softener and we paid for it and installation ($842.64). She asked for 5 dimmer switches (at owner's cost) plus installation ($100 with someone the tenant's boyfriend knows doing the work) but my husband wanted to look into it himself. She called the warranty department MANY times during the first year warranty. We are responsible for water bills and the first water bill we received after she moved in was $222.90 as she probably left the lawn watering on for 24 hr a day. As a comparison, a family of two who rent one of our smaller 2BR townhouse in the same community's highest water bill is $25.14. After my husband spoke to her, the second and third bills were $90.42 and $38.58, respectively. When my husband went to inspect the house yesterday, he even dropped off two bags of salt for softener as we don't have a water softener in our own house and those were the left over from our previous house. I am giving the details as I think we have been nice and accommodating, while the tenant is taking advantage of us. The lease does not cover situation like warranty repair. Any help will be greatly appreciated!
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