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Unread 10-10-2013, 10:55 AM   #1
sheellah
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Would rubber matting over flagstone damage it over time?

I have a tenant that moved in and basically took over my house. Without permission he covered my flagstone patio with rubber matting and built a structure on it with netting, a table and benches. I'm also concerned he might have drilled into my stone to anchor it. The rubber matting has holes in it but I'm concerned about it damaging the underlying flagstone. Would it cause the flagstone to discolor, grow mold, crack, or cause other damage? We are in NY where it's pretty cold in the winter. It violates the lease and will be removed, but I still would like to know about possible damage to my stone and how soon it would possibly occur. Thanks in advance for your replies!
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Unread 10-10-2013, 11:06 AM   #2
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Sheelah,

As a landlord I can tell you they are responsible for damages to your property beyond normal wear and tear. If you suspect pre-mature damage, you have the right to inspect (and take pictures) You don't have to wait until the term of the lease is over to get them to repair the damages.

Flagstone is a general term that describes any 'flagged' stone, which means a stone which was split into sheets from a larger block. We need to know what type of stone you have. Slate? Sandstone? Quartzite?

Pictures would be very helpful.
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Unread 10-10-2013, 12:48 PM   #3
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Thanks for replying. I'm hoping a stone professional can answer my question about damage so I have more reason to place pressure on my tenant to remove it. Here's the only photo I have. I'm not sure what it's made of. You can see some of it there.

http://postimg.org/image/jyn37ofeh/

Thanks again!
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Unread 10-10-2013, 01:29 PM   #4
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It looks like good quality vermont slate. With lick you can power wash it clean. I'd do that as soon as possible. If they really want the mat to stay, they'd have to wash it regularly. If normal washing will not remove the marks, the renters are responsible for the added expense of cleaning, or heaven forbid, replacement. But I doubt it will come to replacement as that stone is usually tougher than that. Just don't let that mat set there too long without cleaning the slate back to "normal" again.
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Unread 10-10-2013, 04:30 PM   #5
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Thanks again for replying. He covered up the stone totally. How can a tenant do something like this with no permission? He also cut down my tall mature trees and shrubs to place that deck and the whole thing is illegal with the deck not being the proper distance from property lines. I'm going to get water seepage under the rubber from the edges. I'm not there so not sure if this stuff has drainage holes but water can probably get in betwen the tiles too.
I'm just concerned about the water trapped there freezing when the temps drop and cracking the stone. With a structure like that he must have drilled into my stone to anchor it. The guy is nuts to build something like that without permission. The closest exempt structure to that thing he built is a canopy, and I don't even think that qualifies as one.
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Unread 10-10-2013, 04:34 PM   #6
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Sheela,

Then you have a separate issue; unless the renter has written permission to alter the property, even if he improves it*, he is liable for the damages you will incur to get the property back to where it was when he moved in.

*the definition may be in the eyes of the beholder, but under the law any change is damaging. Even paint.
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Unread 10-10-2013, 05:15 PM   #7
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I'm going to chime in that I really doubt your stone is going to by any worse for wear, I can't see that it is going to be any wetter than it usually is when covered by snow, sleet, etc. during the the normal freeze and thaw season. There may be some slight chance, but I really doubt it is much at all.

The patio installed looks pretty nice, and I can see why they did not want to use your widely spaced and poorly grouted stones - they would be unsuitable for chairs or tables ... or just about anything.

I personally would be very reluctant to create a problem with this renter for what little we can see here, they seem to be taking good care of the place, if there are other issues, sure, but it is silly to get worked up about those stones IMO.
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Unread 10-10-2013, 07:01 PM   #8
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Sheelah. What Paul said. My concern would be; what else have they done?


Kevin-
You must have missed that they cut down mature trees & shrubs, didn't have permission, and that this work violates local planning codes.
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Unread 10-10-2013, 09:56 PM   #9
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I'm not an income property attorney in your state, so take this for what its worth. That existing stone and shrubs look terrible. Even from the distance that picture was taken from. If their rent checks are on time, and don't bounce, I'd be tempted to let it ride.

You may have all sorts of options according to the law, but decide if any possible recourse is worth the time, money, heartburn before you proceed.
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Unread 10-15-2013, 07:33 AM   #10
sheellah
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Thanks again for all your replies. I'm not saying that it looks bad. It looks quite nice. All I'm saying is that he cut down 50+ year old 14' trees without permission, and installed the deck and gazebo without permission. Besides covering the flagstone, the edge of the deck is right up against the brick of 3 building structures and I was told can damage the foundation from water.

The main issue is that the deck is illegal as it doesn't follow the 3 feet away from property lines mandated for flammable materials, and it extends more than 8' into the yard where the chairs are. The gazebo is also not allowed in my zoning district.

I was just trying to find out that besides being illegal, what damage what he built on my property, would also cause.
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Unread 10-15-2013, 07:51 AM   #11
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Sheelah, if you'll add a geographic location to your User Profile it might help in answering some of your questions.
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