Tenant's relative damaged property - who's responsible?

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    #16
    Originally posted by Bel View Post
    Talk to your insurance company first to see what you can claim.

    If the offender was uninvited then its a grey area.

    Be careful, as any conversation regarding damage is likely to be logged as an "incident" regardless of wether a claim is made or not, successful or not !
    and as already pointed out is unlikely to exceed ins excess.

    The Rodent
    A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.
    W.Churchill

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      #17
      Suggestion:
      • Do not claim through the insurance, because it is malicious damage
      • Replace the glass
      • Send the bill to the tenant
      • If/when the tenant does not pay, say within 30 days, issue an HMCS Money Claim online and take them to court
      • Consider evicting this tenant

      Comment


        #18
        Originally posted by Poppy View Post
        Suggestion:
        • Do not claim through the insurance, because it is malicious damage
        • Replace the glass
        • Send the bill to the tenant
        • If/when the tenant does not pay, say within 30 days, issue an HMCS Money Claim online and take them to court
        • Consider evicting this tenant
        Hi

        On the basis of the information given so far, I really dont see what the legal basis for such a claim would be I'm afraid. See below.


        Originally posted by Preston View Post
        Sorry to be so negative, but this clause is, in my view, not enforceable in its current form. Under s11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 the landlord is responsible for repairs to the structure and exterior. In Irvine v Moran (1990) 24 HLR 1 QBD it was held that windows, at least on their outer face, are part of the exterior. (This leaves some confusion with regard to double glazing, it has to be said).

        The landlord is not allowed to "contract out" of this obligation. Of course, the tenant may still be responsible for the repair if they have failed to look after the property in a tenant like manner - or if their visitors have done so, provided there is a clause in the tenancy agreement to this effect (hence my comment earlier).

        The comments attributed to the police are not, in my experience, uncommon at all. It is really a case of "general chat" from people who are trying to be sympathetic to someone who probably appears very distressed. Clearly it would be better if they just said contact the landlord to find out the position.


        Preston

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          #19
          But OP has told us the there is such a clause (I have carefully checked the tenancy agreement and there is a specific clause stating that the Tenant is "To replace all broken glass in doors and windows damaged during the tenancy")...and it could be argued that the tenant has not behaved in 'a tenant-like manner', by having guests who invite other people to visit, who then smash the glass in the door when they are not allowed in.

          One of a tenant's duties/responsibilities is to look after the property they live in (with certain exceptions which LL is obliged to see to, eg. heating system, etc), in the way a householder would.

          I honestly do not see why the Tenant cannot be billed for this. If she can then extract the payment from hotheaded visitor, so much the better. But it is not the LL's fault and the insurance will not pay out anyway.
          'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

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            #20
            Originally posted by mind the gap View Post
            But OP has told us the there is such a clause (I have carefully checked the tenancy agreement and there is a specific clause stating that the Tenant is "To replace all broken glass in doors and windows damaged during the tenancy")...and it could be argued that the tenant has not behaved in 'a tenant-like manner', by having guests who invite other people to visit, who then smash the glass in the door when they are not allowed in.

            One of a tenant's duties/responsibilities is to look after the property they live in (with certain exceptions which LL is obliged to see to, eg. heating system, etc), in the way a householder would.

            I honestly do not see why the Tenant cannot be billed for this. If she can then extract the payment from hotheaded visitor, so much the better. But it is not the LL's fault and the insurance will not pay out anyway.
            Hi

            My point, though, is that the maintenance of the "exterior" is a section 11 matter and the landlord cannot contract out of this responsibility; any clause purporting to do this is unenforceable.

            Clearly, if the disrepair arises from the tenant behaving in a non tenant like matter then this is an explicit defence for the landlord, but I can see nothing in what has been said so far to substantiate such a claim.

            I have put forward another approach, which is to have a clause in the tenancy agreement holding the tenant responsible for visitors, but a) it would appear that there is no such clause and in any case b ) I'm not at all sure that a court would be prepared to classify the apparent culprit in this case as a visitor for the purposes of such an obligation.

            All in all, I think if the landlord attempted to sue they would lose.

            Preston

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              #21
              I was assuming the glass-smasher had been invited, but on re-readng OP's post, I realise that it says 'she arrived', implying she hadn't been invited.

              Assuming that is correct, then it seems LL's recourse is to press charges against this uninvited vandal?

              (But I still think tenants have to be responsible for windows they (or their invited guests) personally break - even if the LL is technically responsible for repairs to the exterior of the property! If Ll failed to maintain window frames and glass fell out, fair enough. But surely damage is damage.

              A pedantic interpretation of that clause would be to say the tenant is only responsible if he broke the window from the inside, but not from the outside!

              Clearly a bit silly...)
              'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

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                #22
                I think if the T does not want to be held responsible because the offender was uninvited, they need to write and sign a statement, for the police if necessary, as to who they believe is responsible so that the LL is able to persue the culprit.
                All posts in good faith, but do not rely on them

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                  #23
                  Originally posted by Rodent1 View Post
                  Be careful, as any conversation regarding damage is likely to be logged as an "incident" regardless of wether a claim is made or not, successful or not !
                  and as already pointed out is unlikely to exceed ins excess.

                  The Rodent
                  Yes. The LL would be wise to be 'hypothetically speaking' about glass breakage in general.
                  All posts in good faith, but do not rely on them

                  * * * * * ** * * * * * * * * * * * *

                  You can search the forums here:

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                    #24
                    Just to let you all know. I discussed this with the tenant and she has agreed to get the repair done at her own expense. She is then going to try to get the money back from her aunt who smashed the glass, as she believes she will pay up. It looks as though the aunt regrets her actions now she is sober!

                    Thanks for your replies

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                      #25
                      Originally posted by Debicj View Post
                      Just to let you all know. I discussed this with the tenant and she has agreed to get the repair done at her own expense. She is then going to try to get the money back from her aunt who smashed the glass, as she believes she will pay up. It looks as though the aunt regrets her actions now she is sober!

                      Thanks for your replies
                      Thanks for the update!

                      Some people have lovely lives, don't they...?!
                      'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

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                        #26
                        Don't wait forever to be reimbursed. Formalise things in writing: send a bill with a letter stating when to pay by.

                        Be professional.

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