Splitting the cost of a plumber when the tenant doesn't give notice of a problem

I have a plumber that I use for several properties. He does great work and charges a fair price. A tenant's drain apparently clogged up a couple weeks ago and she called a different plumber without notifying me. This one was quite a bit more expensive. She sent over the bill to me yesterday and asked that I pay it. She's young and I think she honestly thought this was the best way to go about this. I plan to let her know that it's best to let me handle the repairs because I have my usual people to go to. If it weren't such a stark difference in price I would just swallow it entirely, but I'm planning to ask that she covers the difference between what my normal guy charges and what this plumber charged. Does that sound fair?

Fair is in the eye of the beho...

Fair is in the eye of the beholder. It also might or might not be the most important issue here. Fair/legal/proper needs to be weighed against preserving a good relationship and only you can make that determination. As for whether it is fair, Was tenant aware/notified of your policy concerning maintenance? Is it in the lease? Was it part of a move in letter/package? Discussion?  If so then sure, in a vacuum, it is fair. If not, I would take it as a lesson that my policy needs to be clear and eat the cost.

as a property manager myself i...

as a property manager myself i would say you pay this time just to keep the tenant on side but make it clear and check in the leases or welcome pack (if you gave one) that you did highlight this and make sure she knows for next time so there is no mix up because last thing you need is her to stop paying rent because she feels cheated some how. you must make sure everythink down to the smallest detail is coved or that can use it against you.

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