Cooktop Knob Damage in Rental Property

So, my tenant damaged the Cook top knob in a 1.5 year old property and the agent sent me a quote for $290 to change them ($120 for the knobs + $170 for labour).

I asked how it was damaged and the agent replied.

Yes, the tenant responded and said that he was cleaning the cook top and a thread form the hand towel got caught and lifted it up.

Then I asked,

Since it is not normal wear and tear but an accidental damage, I would assume the tenant would have to cover the cost right?

The agent replied,

If the tenant decided to dispute this and take it further, it would be classified as fair wear and tear. Unfortunately, we would also not be able to hold the tenant accountable for having all 4 controllers replaced.

I can get 4 knobs and replace them myself. Would cost me around $100. But, I am confused if the Agent's claim is normal. This not some dodgy agent and they take 8.8% cut on the rent. I am worried if the Tenent goes bananas and cause a huge damage on walls or on carpet, I would be in the same situation.

Any thoughts?


  • +10

    If you can spare the time, attend to the replacement yourself.

    • Yep. That’s the plan.

  • +7

    I'm more shocked about the $170 for labour haha

    Anyway, get the knobs sent to you.

    Forward one to the tenant and keep the other three as spare.

    If the tenant is a good tenant, then just suck it up.

    • +5

      Good idea. Yeah. He has been paying on time and kept the house in good shape so far. And he was cleaning the cook top. So, I am going to cop it.

      • Probably the pragmatic thing to do long term.

  • $170 for labour??!!! They literally just slip on. If it's just lifted off you should be able to just press it back down unless they've damaged the knob somehow.

    • I know. I remove them and put them back when I clean the cook tops sometimes.

      • Maybe the tenants just don't understand this? Can you come over and see what happen yourself?

    • -1

      I don’t think $170 is unreasonable.

  • Get a Induction Cooktop without knobs otherwise it will just happen again.

    • +2

      Doesn't need to be induction. You can get no knob standard electric.

      For a rental it could be off putting if a tenant needs to buy a new collection of cookware.

    • +3

      I thought induction cooktops were the best thing since sliced bread.

      Then i cleaned it and water went underneath shorting out the system.
      Was warrantied and the next one did the same.

      back to gas i went.

    • +1

      Induction is very delicate - ie surface easily scratched or damaged (eg tenant drops a pot or bottle or jar and the top is smashed and the entire thing needs to be replaced).

  • +4

    Don't be a knob, just replace them yourself.

  • Do they only come in a pack of 4? It sounds like only 1 is damaged.

    • It is hard to get the exact knob. So, need to replace all. Will see if I can find the exact knob.

      • For a 2 year old cooktop?

        Unless it's one of those no branded builders inclusion cooktops.

        • +1

          It is Baumatic B4GS. They have parts listed in their site, but it is not the exact knob

          It was an off the plan property. Builder advertised Fisher and Paykel or equivalent will be fixed. :D
          The whole process was a terrible experience. Don't want to talk about it.

          • @amazonaddict: Take a look on eBay - something like this might work:


            Also there's nothing for a thread to catch on to on your knobs, unless they are saying it completely lifted off and hit the ground and broke, seems incredibly careless on their part. I'm just not sure how a rounded surface catches on a thread and a bit shears away like that, especially after only 1.5 years.

      • +1

        That sucks, I hope you can find it. Maybe the manufacturer can help?

        I don't know if I'm doing renting wrong but I don't understand this behaviour. I've had 2 maintenance issues in about 6 years of renting - one downlight socket that was failing (changed bulbs but the behaviour was the same, was worried it was an electrical hazard) and when my kitchen smelt like gas because the stove feeder cable was leaking behind the oven.

        Other than that, I just fix stuff when it needs it. My toilet cistern was slowly non-stop filling and leaking out into the bowl, but I figured it would cost the landlord hundreds to get a plumber to fix it so I took the part down to Reece plumbing, got a replacement for 40 bucks and now I also know how to replace a float valve in a toilet which might be handy in future. Is this not the norm?

        I also told my landlord that we're building a house and when it is estimated to be finished so that everyone is on the same page about when my lease will need to end in the future.

        • +5

          No it's not the norm unfortunately but it should be. You are a unicorn tenant and your landlord should be very happy.

      • Just get a $10 pack of 4 generic knobs, no one cares if they are not original. It’s a rental, don’t get so precious over it, it add any value to the property.

    • Do they only come in a pack of 4? It sounds like only 1 is damaged.

      Manufactures usually only sell them in sets.

      • Manufacturers often have typos in their user manuals like you do in your comment

  • I can feel the pain as I've been through the same road with my agent few weeks ago. Sounds was like she is tenant agent not my agent. ;-(

  • -1

    If you cant sort this out without sheading a tear, wait till you get a bad tenant, part and parcel of being a landlord unfortunately.

  • -1

    I would go after the tenant.

    This is not wear and tear.

    • Hunt them down?

  • +3

    8.8% geeeshush!
    That's the real problem here.

    I pay 4.4% + GST

    Can you super glue the knob back on? Any pictures?

    • May be your rent is more than $600.
      This is the image

      • +2

        Yes rent is $750.

        Looks like 3 are actually broken, one has broken more.
        Personally, i'd use superglue to fix it.

        Maybe .. given 3 are broken, if you dont want to superglue then contact the manufacturer. To have 3 of 4 being cracked may mean it is actually materials failure - and your tenant accidentally caused one to break further due to it catching.

        • +2

          Think, what could a reasonable person do to cause cracks like that? I also think it is material failure. Most likely the manufacturer will also dodge it by saying knobs are excluded from warranty..

      • +1

        Manufacturing fault. 1 would be possible accidental damage, 3 is a pattern. Contact the manufacturer, even if outside of any 12 month warranty.

  • +2

    the knobs on my cooktop can be removed for cleaning and put back on just by pulling them off. Are you sure it's just the knob and not something wrong with the mechanism? It must have been a hell of a strong thread to do any damage.

    • +4

      I'm guessing it was knocked heavily by a pot full of water and snapped the shaft under the knob. Tenant is too lazy, too dumb or too entitled to superglue bits back together.

      No, I'm not including a diagram of the shaft under the knob jv.

      • +1

        , I'm not including a diagram of the shaft under the knob jv.

        Already has the matter well in hand…

  • I would have just ordered the knobs online and had them shipped to the tenant directly for them to stick on.

  • +3

    You can buy generic knobs online for $9-15 bucks a pop….

    It's a crappy Baumatic. Who cares if it matches or not.

    • I’m with you, but landlord is getting precious with a set of matching knobs, rookie mistake.

      Won’t add a single $ to the value of the property or appeal to future renters.

  • a thread form the hand towel got caught and lifted it up.

    A knob should not be damaged by a thread…
    Also $170 labour charge is rubbish

    • Have you seen the photo? The outer ring was cracked. A thread can be caught in the crack and make it worse.

      • How did it get cracked initially? It's only 1.5 years old, without some kind of trauma it shouldn't have a crack in it

        • +1

          Low quality material, bad design, factory defect, etc.
          Looking at the picture, I could not imagine it could be caused by any other way.

          • @leiiv: Tenant removed them to wipe stove down. Tenant dropped it on tiled kitchen floor. Plastic cracked.

            Seems like likely that a crack spontaneously appearing in it and then catching on a thread

            • +1

              @Domingo: Yes dropping is a possibility. But still, it is a bad design or material. It is knob for god sake not a fragile ware. It is supposed to be strong and durable. If it is my own stove, I won't be happy with the quality for being easily damaged just by dropping from a kitchen top and will take it to the manufacturer.

              • @leiiv: So you'd be happy for it to get a split in it spontaneously and then a bit pulled off it by a thread, but you'd be unhappy if dropping it 1.2m onto a hard surface did the same damage?

                • @Domingo: No, It is a factory defect in any cases. I'd be unhappy in both cases. Wouldn't you?

              • @leiiv: Agreed. Baumatic are pretty much the lowest tier and crappiest made appliances. Thus why they are so cheap and used in many new builds by builders.

  • OP, any update on your issue?

    • +1

      I have told the agency that this quote is not acceptable and will fix it myself with tenant.
      I have ordered some cheap but good looking knobs. ($17)
      Once they arrive, I'll ship them to tenant with a letter and a link to a "how to video". I don't want him cutting his fingers with the broken knobs.

      Anyways, now I am very disappointed with the Agency. I have lost faith in them and bit scared of the future. What if they wash their hands off when the tenant have a party and ruins the whole house?

      • It's pretty clear from the pic you provided that the knobs on the cook top are crap. Don't expect the tenant to pay to replace your crappy knobs.

        You could have got them replaced under warranty as others suggested.

        Edit: Also check out what people are saying on product review.

        Obviously the product had no QA. There is no way you could not break that ultra thin plastic ring around the top.

        • Oh.. I never though of checking the reviews. Yeah it must be the product. I will cover the cost in case the tenant could not fit my replacements.

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