I need an unbiased opinion.

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by BettyR, Oct 14, 2008.

  1. BettyR

    BettyR Songster

    Mar 1, 2008
    Texas Gulf Coast
    We have a rent house and as you know we were recently hit by hurricane Ike. We had two trees in the front yard of the rent house and both of them blew down but neither one hit the house. In fact the only damage we had at the rent house was tree clean up.

    After the storm was over we were without power for 10 days they got power back at the rent house in 8 days. I tried calling them...they have cell phones and the cell phones were the only type of phone that would work after the storm so the towers were jammed with traffic but with a little patience I was able to get through but they never answered the phone and they never returned my calls. I finally gave up trying to reach them and contacted several people I know who live in the area and they all told me that our house was fine.

    3 weeks after the storm the renter calls me and tells me that he cleaned up the two trees that fell on my property and he spent $250.00 boarding the house up and he is expecting me to pay him $500.00 for his work plus what he spent boarding the house up...he wants to take it off the rent.

    I told him that I did not ask him to board the house up...he did that to protect his property. My house is insured against damage from hurricanes. If it had been damaged during the storm the insurance would pay to fix it. The insurance would also have paid to clean up the trees if he has just called me and told me they were there I would have filed a claim and had the mess cleaned up. He took it upon himself to do this without asking or at least calling and telling me that the trees had fallen. Now three weeks later he wants to be paid for his trouble and expenses.

    I told him no...it doesn’t work that way. If I hire you to do work then I will pay you for it...you can’t just do work without being asked to do it and expect to get paid for it and I don’t feel that it is my responsibility to reimburse him for the money he spent to protect his property.

    But I can’t get this out of my mind...am I being too hard nosed or should I help him out with his expenses?
  2. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    Yes, I think you're being too hard-nosed about it. He probably thought he was being a good tenent by doing what he did. I'd be grateful that I had a tenent who cared instead of packing up his stuff and leaving your house open to vandels.
  3. ChandlersChickens

    ChandlersChickens Songster

    Jun 8, 2008
    Delphos, OH
    I think that is something that should be arranged PRIOR to the work being done. When my husband lived in an apartment that was part of the agreement....any work they did to it they could take off the rent, but this did not include labor. They had to prove what they purchased to work on the apartment by providing receipts to the landlord.
    I don't think you should pay him for protecting his property or for labor. You tried to reach him and it's his own fault that he didn't answer your call or try to call you before doing the work.
    Does your lease say anything about the insurance or anything that would help you?
  4. No, you are absolutely right with your first assumption. There was no contract (nor meeting of the minds) for him to perform the work he did. He can't bill you for services he performed without prior consent and approval.

    And aside from that, what would have happened if he injured himself while cleaning up the fallen trees? If you hired a professional, who had liability insurance, then you could rest easy - plus it would have been done right and paid for by your insurance.

    If i were you, i would stick to my guns. Otherwise, this may not turn out to be an isolated event.
  5. KellyHM

    KellyHM Crowing

    Sep 10, 2008
    Lakeland, FL
    We had a tree fall during a hurricane a couple years ago and insurance wouldn't pay for it b/c it didn't damage the house. It cost us $7500 to have removed, so he may have done you a favor on that one.
  6. BettyR

    BettyR Songster

    Mar 1, 2008
    Texas Gulf Coast
    The lease requires the tenant to carry renters insurance to protect their belongings but nothing more.

    I called my accountant and asked her about the legal aspects of it….she told me that a tenant must contact the landlord and report damage. The damage then has to be repaired by a third party who is in the business of doing that sort of work. That is the only way insurance will pay for the damage and that is also the only way I would be able to deduct the loss from my taxes.
  7. debilorrah

    debilorrah The Great Guru of Yap

    Ok, here's the thing: The hurricane happened, the clean up got done, and it wasn't handled right. Is there a way you can play dummy and call the insurance company and say you had the work done and want your reimbursement? Is your deductible lower than the $500.00 the guy is asking for? I have been on both ends - landlord and tenant, and he shouldn't have done it without asking, but it's already done and chances are your deductible is $500 anyways.
  8. OPIE

    OPIE Songster

    Jul 7, 2008
    Freeman Mo.
    I have several friends who both own rental properties and also rent, the deal around here is if they do any work to the property, the landlord will reemburse for the materials only and thats only if they can produce a receipt. As far as the tree cleanup goes, you need to evaluate that one yourself, If they were huge trees MAYBE, but that does sound a little steep as far as just doing cleenup, he should be compensated form his time, but I would see how he came up with his figures. and negotiate. Maybe take a ride and go look at what he did, but always ask for receipts on anything they do as this is a write off for you on taxes.[​IMG]
  9. Birch Run Farm

    Birch Run Farm Biddy up!

    Sep 5, 2008
    Based on what Kelly wrote I would see what exactly your insurance would cover or not cover first. I have had vicious floods through here in August, I can no longer drive to my house. Guess what, insurance co told me to go to h###! Now I am logging trees on my own property trying to build a bridge..... [​IMG]
  10. BettyR

    BettyR Songster

    Mar 1, 2008
    Texas Gulf Coast
    Quote:Both trees fell on a fence but because the tenant removed them himself when I called the adjuster to come look at the fence the adjuster wanted a receipt or some sort of proof that the trees had been removed.

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