What To Do if You Damage Your Rental

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We’ve all been there. No matter how careful you are, you’re bound to break or damage something while renting a property. Whether you live in an apartment complex, or you rent out a home, it can be a nightmare become reality when you break something. The most important thing is to not stress out too much or let yourself make it out to be a bigger problem than it is.

Assess the damage

Damage comes in all different sizes and levels of severity. Is the damage as simple as screwing a hole in the wall for a curtain rod, but then realizing that your contract states that you can’t do this without permission? Or is it something of a much larger degree, like a baseball sized hole in the window? If the damage is simple, it’s possible that your landlord will be forgiving.

Tell your landlord immediately

Your landlord will always appreciate honesty and knowing when there’s a problem. You wouldn’t want them to realize a tree had fallen down onto the property by driving past, rather than you calling them. Call them, or send them an email, explaining the damage and the circumstances that led to the damage taking place. It can be helpful to include a picture of the damage, so they know what the issue is.

Read your contract

A lot of times, there will be something in your lease protecting the landlord having to pay for repairs, unless they happened of natural causes or are normal wear and tear. Normal wear and tear issues should be reported before they get out of hand. An accident that wasn’t caused by you is also something that should be covered by your landlord. If you were the one that caused the damage, however, you should be prepared to pay for the repair. Ask your landlord how much they’re going to charge you for the repairs before you have them send someone to fix it. It could be valuable to get an independent quote from a repairman, and then compare the two. If you can get it repaired for less, you’ll want to check with your landlord first to make sure they’ll allow you to do this. Often, they’ll agree, under the condition that they get to check and make sure that it’s satisfactory, and if it’s not, that they can send someone in to finish the job to their satisfaction.

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