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New tenant damage - best way to go from here...?

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Hi All,

A new tenant has recently moved into a nice tidy 3 bed terrace. Seemed pleasant enough. Then I received a text to say that the door had been damaged when moving in a big sideboard. On visiting I noticed that the door and doorframe had been severely, repeatedly and deeply scratched, where furniture had been repeatedly rammed and scraped through the doorway to get it into the slightly restricted hallway. No attempt had been made to dissemble the furniture or to bring it in the back door (better access).

There is white showing through the mock mahogany UPVC finish, and there are burrs to the edges of the many deep scrapes in the plastic. In just one restricted area of the doorframe there are 16 separate deep scratches. Unfortunately it's a UPVC door set so I am not sure a repair will be possible.

Not a great start for a new tenant relationship, and I'd be grateful for any advice about how firmly to go in at this stage. They were not at all apologetic: "well, we just couldn't get it through the door".

I have put out a couple of enquiries to the UPVC industry to see if a good repair is likely. I guess it won't be cheap even if a repair is possible. Worst case scenario could involve a new door set - not got a quote yet, but I guess I'd be lucky to get away with 500.

My questions are...
Do I go ahead and repair / replace at this early stage? (They've made noises about staying for ages - but right now I feel a sense of grim foreboding that there may be trouble ahead!)
Do I try and get the tenants to pay for repair / replacement now - outside their deposit. I'm concerned that their deposit could be almost used up by this little catastrophe and then what's to stop them really trashing the place?
Or do I just chill, leave it and wait for them to go and then have a crack at retaining some of the deposit - to be realistic if they ended up staying for 10 years then I guess I'd probably take it on the chin and could repair or replace at that time. Close up the damage is bad, but it's not obvious from the pavement so I'm not going to feel I should sort it out "for the neighbours" (who are all delightful).

At the moment I haven't put anything in writing to the tenant - but my "very concerned" email is drafted and almost ready to go.

Thanks in advance for any feedback.

29/02/2016 15:22

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