Who Should Pay for after Hours Call out Fee for Locksmith for Tenanted Property? [WA]


I just want to ask who pays for the “after hour call out fee” of locksmith? Real estate company is asking tenant to cover the fee. To cut the long story short.

Owner did not want to claim on Insurance.

A friends (tenant) rental house got broken in Thursday evening 8pm (Security footage exist of thieve breaking flood light outside), broken/ lifted the side sliding doors (deadbolt were intact) & windows.
Tenant Returned reported to the Police 10PM but tenant felt unsafe in the house as she could not lock the house so she took her children left the house & slept overnight at the friends house.

Tenant were traumatised (first time experiencing the theft) by all asked a Family friend to call real estate company 3pm Friday to inform of theft and need locksmith.

So a lock smith came out on Saturday afternoon unbent some aluminium door frame.

*but locksmith reported to real estate company that the sliding door locks and door locks are intact and NOT BROKEN and can be locked.

So now real estate company asking for WEEKEND RATE $600 call out fee to be worn by the tenant as locks can be locked. - basically tenant gave wrong information of condition of locks when family friend have rang them.

So telling tenant to pay the after hour lock smith rate $600. ($350 fixing cost worn by owner)

So what tenant can do?

Thank you

Poll Options

  • 8
  • 2
    RealEstate company
  • 89


  • +1

    So a lock smith came out on Saturday afternoon unbent some aluminium door frame.

    Then the tenant should speak to the real estate and tell them that the locksmith did a fix. Any pictures of the locks immediately after the discovery of the break-in will definitely help. Were the police called? They might have pictures too.

  • +14

    If it happened Thursday night why did the tenant wait until 3pm Friday afternoon before calling? If they called at 9am they could've had someone out the same day, instead of having to pay the weekend call out.

  • +1

    she could not lock the house

    locksmith reported to realestate company that the sliding door locks and door locks are intact and NOT BROKEN and can be locked.

    Either locksmith is lying or your "friend" is.

    Take this as a lesson for next time to DOCUMENT issues such as broken locks to CYA when renting.

    Since owner admits to paying fixing cost, it looks like the locksmith fixed it?

    • -2

      Locksmiths dont lie.
      If the lock was damaged locksmith would have been all too happy to replace it.
      Trust me!

      And frankly THIS IS NONE OF OP'S BUSINESS!

      Why are we even wasting our time replying to such nonsence?

      Given OP is not the victim its all "here say" so none of it is true.

  • +3

    Was the door able to be locked before the locksmith unbent the frame? If no then I don't see any incorrect information provided by tenant.

  • -1

    Does the tennant have locksmith experience ? Are they an expert in that field, if not then the owner cant expect them to provide accurate information, that is why the owner sends out the locksmith to begin with, just because the lock was intact, doesnt mean the tanant is responsible for providing that information to the owner. The owner should of come and inspected it themselves, or a representative of the owner like a real estate agent.

    Any work done on the property is tax deductible by the owner, did the owner expect not to be charged by the locksmith for an after hour rate by sending them on a saturday? Either the fixing and after hours rate is on the tenant, or the owner entirely, you cant split it however you want based on semantics.

    It is the owners responsibility to make sure the property is safe, so either way, i say its the owners responsibility to bear the cost.
    If the owner pays for the fixing cost, then they also bear the after hours cost.

    • Not sure why the negs, I agree

      • +4

        Just because a tenant was a victim of burglary does not make the landlord liable for damages nor footing the bill for after hours services.

        Just because something is tax deductable doesn't mean it is free.

    • +6

      The tenant had all day friday to report it, but for whatever reason didn't hence the after hours/weekend call-out cost. Why should the owner be penalised for that?

  • -1

    Locksmith callout fee is $600? Man, am I in the wrong profession. If the tenant wasn't made aware that the cost would be $600 upfront then I would say this charge is unreasonable to be passed on. Even if the locks aren't broken it sounds like the door was damaged, which may have interfered with being able to lock the door. I would be finding out from the locksmith a bit more about how they got access and whether the locks still need to be replaced if they have been compromised in some way. Go to the tenants union for your state and ask them their opinion. Even traumatised I would've been trying to contact the real estate agent ASAP to report the break in.

    • +2

      The person that engaged a locksmith is responsible for the costs.

    • +1

      A slightly bent door isnt a major issue

      Broken lock are

      Tenant giving information that turned a non major issue into a major one is the tenants problem

      • +1

        It depends on if the bent door frame stopped the door from locking, if it did then this is a big issue. It is the owners issue.

  • +4

    "WEEKEND RATE $600"…????
    What a rip off… How do they justify that?

    • +1

      with a balaclava on their head.

    • +2

      They don't.

      They simply have to inform the customer of the charges. If the customer consents, it is none of anyone elses business.

  • +1

    Did the burglar/s gain entry via the door that the locksmith worked on? Was a deadbolt installed to secure it? If not, the locksmith didn't complete the job at hand . Don't pay the $600 + ask the RE to send a handyman to install a deadbolt. At least , that's what I would do .

    Edit:The tenant called the RE at 3pm friday and they don't send someone to inspect the property for damage? So much for managing the property! As a landlord, I would demand that my RE absorb the callout fee. I shouldn't be out of pocket due to their incompetence.

    • why didn't they leave a voicemail to the REA straight away that something like this has happened.( if it was a urgent.). at least it would have given them enough time to inspect for any other damages.

      • The RE had from 3pm to 5pm Friday and half day Saturday to assess the damages. Plenty of time.

        if it was a urgent

        What I don't understand is why the locksmith wasn't called on Friday.

        • LockSmith were called on Friday.

          but did not come out to the property not until SATURDAY 12PM.

  • so whats the $350 the owner is paying? to bent back the door frame?

    • Exactly yes.

  • No No No… Your friend reported the incident to police.
    Damage was not caused by tenant.
    All damage to the property is then the land lords responsibility to fix and pay for in order to provide a "secure" tenancy.
    Contact Dep of Fair Trading. Contact NCAT.
    Do not pay a cent.

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