• Yong-Long Lai

Who broke the oven Knob?

Updated: Dec 22, 2018

Before I personally break for the holiday season, I thought I'll share a funny story and tell you why Box Property Management is different to other agencies.



I recently received an email from one of my property manager (not Box Property Management)


With regards to the oven control knob - unfortunately based on the report from the handyman I do not feel confident there is enough evidence to support this is tenant damage - see below 
" The tenant said the oven knob fell off and then got caught between the oven and oven door and broke." 
I am happy to try if you wish, and this cost may only come to $10-$20. I can request receipt from handyman to confirm exact price. 

As a landlord, the first thing that came into my mind is, you got to be kidding me right?

Firstly, it's not about the money and as a landlord its so easy to say it's only $10-$20 and just pay for this problem to go away.... but really... you would think a property manager would challenge the tenant about it before effectively asking me to pay for it.


Anyway, my response back to the property manager was:

I'm still not sure how a knob falling between the oven and oven door will cause the knob to break unless they close the oven door while the knob was between the oven and oven door and as a result crushed the knob.
I would like you to challenge that and see what they say.
If they are still adamant they didn't break it after you have challenged them then I'll pay for it, but I suspect they did break it.

As a landlord who pays for property management services, it bothers me when property managers don't try and mitigate unnecessary expenses on my behalf. i.e. they don't even challenge the tenant when things don't make any sense.


I've talked with Tien and many of my friends about this issue many times in the past and we have shared stories and laughed at each other's expense... mainly at my expense. One thing I've learnt from Tien's story is that he challenges his tenants more than me and gets a better outcome than me.


I know this is something Tien has been working hard on at Box Property Management. To a point where he's been personally vetting all maintenance requests so that he can continue to develop a more robust process to eliminate unnecessary expenses for landlords.


These things are tougher because it involves

  • the property manager to work with the tenants to actively problem solve and identify the real issue

  • pushing back on expenses that are the responsibility of tenants

  • balancing the fact that we want happy tenants

  • supporting tenants when real maintenance issue do arise


Note: Box Property Management is still open over the festive season and its just me taking some time off.

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