Q: Hello, my tenant is asking me to hang a large mirror that was left inside of the property. I would rather remove it due
to not wanting to be liable if something were to happen. However, they really want the mirror to be hung. How can i go about this so that i am not liable?
A: If you own the mirror, or because it was abandoned by the prior tenant you may claim ownership, then it's yours to do as you please: retrieve and dispose of it, sell it, or give it away. If you give it to your new tenant, then you should make clear you are giving ownership of it to them, and that they are responsible for removing it when they vacate the premises. Like any other furnishing a tenant my bring into the home, or any picture, shelf or mirror they hang on a wall, they are responsible for it and for restoring the premises to the condition it was in before they moved in (e.g., removing those things hung or affixed to the walls and filling the holes made by nails, hangers, etc.). None of that is the landlord's responsibility. You are not responsible for hanging a tenant's pictures and other items. They can hire somebody to do it if they are not capable of doing it themselves, but they remain liable to you if they damage the property by doing so. If you undertake to hang a heavy mirror that was in the property when they moved in, and it later falls and damages the tenant's other property or injures someone, then you would be liable for any negligence in failing to properly secure the mirror to the wall. Therefore, you need to tell the tenant that hanging objects or installing tenant fixtures is NOT one of your obligations under the lease. As for the mirror, either they agree to accept ownership of it and are fully responsble for whatever they choose to do with it, including having someone else hang it and remove it after the lease ends, or you will remove it and dispose of it now. That's their choice. No in between. They either own it, or you remove it. If they take ownership, then that's it. From that point forward it is their responsibility. Give them 10 days to allow you to come and remove the mirror, or if they do not allow you to do so, the mirror becomes their property. If they vacate and fail to remove it, then the cost of removing it and restoring the wall where it hung becomes a damage repair that is deducted from their security deposit. If you fail to remove the mirror from the wall after they move out, and then rent out the premises to a new tenant, you would then become liable to the new tenant should the mirror fall and injure them.
Janelle Johnson agrees with this answer
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