9 Replies Latest reply: Jul 24, 2019 2:50 PM by familyfirst RSS

    Past Guests on roof and dangerous rock.......what to do for the future.

    familyfirst Contributor

      Hello All-

      A week ago, we had a large family at our home. Very nice people that used excessive AC/the most any guests have used-we have a Tesla App on our phone.


      My neighbor reported to us that our guests were on our roof and on the big rock. I quickly looked on their social media pages...their accounts are open to the public. We have a roof top deck with seating, plants, it's lovely. They walked over the landscaping and went onto our very expensive French tile roof nearby and also a large rock formation that is very dangerous nearby where we have our solar panels that we just installed-over $130 K worth of product/cost. I'm ******. Adults were doing this besides kids.


      I can't do anything now about it-unless they try to rent again, there was no damage. But our manager now knows to warn guests NOT to do it, etc. I found out from our neighbor that this is not the first time she has seen people on our roof and rock formation.


      I am going to get some nice looking signs that will be placed in the planters. Both myself and my manager will speak with guests prior.


      My questions are:

      1. What should the signs say?

      2. Can I give a fine or tell guests that they will be asked to leave if we discover someone is on our roof? I don't want to be rude but it's dangerous and totally inappropriate.

      3. Can I tell them that if we discover from a neighbor that someone is on our roof, I will then have to hire our solar installer to come and check the roof for damage which I will deduct $250 or so for his fee?  Any damage would be their responsibility.


      Thank you all for your help.

        • Re: Past Guests on roof and dangerous rock.......what to do for the future.
          twobitrentals CommunityAmbassador

          Can you somehow block access to the roof...you are right that is very dangerous and the liability could be huge.....I’d be checking my insurance to be sure that if they fall they are covered. Most times if you are aware of a potentially dangerous situation and don’t cure it.....it can be very difficult to not be held responsible. Perhaps fence around the rock too, at least that way they can’t say that they had no idea they weren’t supposed to be on it?


          There are other owners who have a better legal background in this area than me, but I would be more worried about an accident and then subsequently  any damage to the property.


          YIke’s.....some people just have NO boundaries do they?

          • Re: Past Guests on roof and dangerous rock.......what to do for the future.
            wildiris Senior Contributor

            Good grief!  People can be really, really stupid!  You should consult with an attorney about how you should handle this in your contract.  It's my understanding that a "liquidated damages" clause in a contract is enforceable, but a "penalty clause" is not.  Having a contract clause that says that the rental agreement is terminated and everyone must leave if someone is seen on the roof sounds like a "penalty" to me.  So, if you really do have to hire your solar panel installer to inspect the roof tiles or solar panels if someone is seen on the roof, that sounds like a legitimate liquidated damages clause and not a penalty.  What does the solar installer charge to perform such an inspection?  This is the amount that you should specify in your contract clause damage amount regarding guests going on the roof.  If the installer charges around $250 to inspect, then by all means make this the amount of your liquidated damages clause.


            I have a one-page list of rental rules that is attached to and incorporated into my rental agreement.  (Unfortunately, my rules have gotten longer over the years as guests have done thoughtless things.)  For certain rules, I try to explain the reason for the rule instead of just telling the guest, "no."  Your liquidated damages clause should also explain the reason behind it.  I'd word the language something along these lines:

            "Warning:  It is extremely hazardous to climb on the rock formation adjacent to the house or to be anywhere on the roof outside the area of the roof deck.  In addition, the French roof tiles and solar panels are extremely fragile and very expensive to repair.  If a member of the rental party, or anyone invited onto the property by a member of the rental party, goes out onto the roof tiles or adjacent rock formation, the guest shall be charged a fee of $250 to cover the cost of having the roof tiles and solar panels inspected for possible damage.  If any damage is found, guest shall be liable for the costs of repairing or replacing the roof tiles and/or solar panels."

            • Re: Past Guests on roof and dangerous rock.......what to do for the future.
              margaret CommunityAmbassador

              Get signs prohibiting access to these areas as soon as possible. I would also suggest having the guest initial a clause in the RA stating that these areas are off limits.

              • Re: Past Guests on roof and dangerous rock.......what to do for the future.
                sage Senior Contributor

                You mention planters, but do not mention railings around your deck. As a first step, ensure that you are in compliance with the local building code. A failure to comply with the building code could subject you to liability for an injury to someone who falls regardless of any signs or contract terms.