If a tenant damages the siding on their rental, are they responsible for redoing the siding on the whole house?

We were renting a place and melted the siding accidental with our barbeque. Now the landlord is insisting that we are responsible for paying for the whole house to be redone. Are we just responsible for the whole house or just the damaged part? There were no contracts or agreements signed. aA no walk through was done before we moved in.

Asked on July 15, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Montana

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You are responsible for repairing the damage that  you did. However, that *could* involve making greater or broader repairs if there's no way to put things right w/out replacing everything. For example, say that the siding is some unusual make, model, composition, or color that is no longer available. In that case, you could not require the owner to have an obvious ill-fitting "patch" on this home that would lower it's value--you'd likely have to replace it all.

So the rule is, you need to pay for the least expensive option that restores it to the quality and condition that existed prior to the damage. You might consider getting quotes for the repair or replacement yourself, so you can determine what the options are. Good luck.


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