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Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Real Estate and Landlording => Topic started by: Doubleh on April 06, 2015, 03:05:34 PM

Title: Rodent damage to rental and liability
Post by: Doubleh on April 06, 2015, 03:05:34 PM
We own a fourplex in the USA which is currently with a management company as we are in the uk for the moment. Back in January the manager told us of a report from the tenant they thought there were rats - they heard scratching noises and some wiring was damaged. We told them to repair the wiring and check for rats, but they reported no sign of them.

This week we heard from the manager that rats have eaten the bottom out of the dishwasher in one of the units. The water has been draining into the floor and rotted the floor and sub floor of the kitchen. We also discovered that the contractor sent in January was their general handy man not a pest exterminator as I had understood, and that the maintenance coordinator has just left the company. Also we spoke to my brother in law who lives local to the property; he mentioned that he had seen where the rats were getting in some time ago and called the manager to tell them.

I'm not a big one in general for blaming others when things go wrong but in this case I feel let down by the manager. I feel that they dropped the ball here, and should have picked up and treated the  rats back in January, in which case the damage to dishwasher and floor either wouldn't have happened is would have been far less serious.

Interested to hear anyone 's experience in particular :

1 Whether rodent damage is normally covered by insurance (we have renters insurance with usaa, calling them tomorrow but would be good to hear any thoughts)

2 would you expect a manager to accept responsibility in a situation like this and cover the damage - or at least a significant portion as it would have been much less had it been dealt with earlier?

3 would you handle this through your insurer or talk with the manager direct and try to reach agreement?

So far our discussion with them had focused on getting the situation for the tenant resolved although they seem to recognise that they are not looking good right now.
Title: Re: Rodent damage to rental and liability
Post by: LiveLean on April 06, 2015, 05:50:56 PM
The important thing is to go Carl Spackler nuclear on the bastards and eradicate them once and for all. It doesn't sound like you have that much damage, relatively speaking, to involve the insurance company.

I have a weekly beach cottage rental and my next-door neighbor lost a weekly tenant (and roughly $6K) when someone spotted a mouse. Since I'm so close and we have trees between us, I monitored this situation closely. Thankfully he told the exterminator whatever means necessary.

We had rats in our attic of our residence for a few months years ago. Took several treatments -- glue traps, very gross -- and some plugging of possible roof entry points, but knock on wood they've been gone for 15 years.
Title: Re: Rodent damage to rental and liability
Post by: Doubleh on April 08, 2015, 05:08:47 AM
Thanks, yep we plan to hit the rodents hard, contractors are in there now. More concerned at the moment with dealing with the human side of the equation though!