Can L deduct from deposit for damage caused by T?

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    Can L deduct from deposit for damage caused by T?

    Hi,

    Pls can anyone advise what to do here? Tenants didn't do a handover of the house but left it empty for around a month without telling the Landlord - due to family difficulties apparently they had to care for an elderly family member some way away.

    When they did meet LL and return keys, LL went to house to find water leak from water storage tank which because house left empty had dripped through ceiling to room below damaging ceiling and flooring and making house very damp in places.

    Not long before leaving these Tenants told LL they had noticed "some water" months ago but it was a small leak which happened once and had not happened again so LL wasnt told about it when it happened and didn't think there was an ongoing problem. Ts then left house empty - and unheated - for around a month and did not turn off water (tho' TA does say it should do so).

    LL is covered by insurance but has to pay a hefty excess to claim to get the damaged ceiling and floor sorted out. What's fair - should LL ask Ts to cover the whole excess or part of it? And can the amount be withheld from deposit (if so how do you do this with the govt scheme?

    L accepts the cause of water leak is down to him but feels Ts shd have turned off water, not left place empty etc.

    Any advice will be gratefully received.

    Thx in advance.

    #2
    If the leak was on the input side to the tank then turning off the water would have made a difference, but if on the output side the tank could continue to empty even with the water off. Has a plumber told you what happened?
    I also post as Moderator2 when moderating

    Comment


      #3
      Hi MarsMug,

      Yes, plumber replaced ball valve which was causing tank to keep overfilling. So excess water was going down overflow pipe. Overflow pipe on outside of tank was leaking also.

      If water stopcock had been turned off then tank wouldn't have been overfilling and overflow wouldn't have been leaking so there wouldn't have been damage caused or as much damage caused.

      What would be fair/right to charge please in these circumstances? Ppty will need drying out, ceiling and floors repaired/replaced.

      Many thx in advance.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by investor68 View Post
        Hi MarsMug,

        Yes, plumber replaced ball valve which was causing tank to keep overfilling. So excess water was going down overflow pipe. Overflow pipe on outside of tank was leaking also.

        If water stopcock had been turned off then tank wouldn't have been overfilling and overflow wouldn't have been leaking so there wouldn't have been damage caused or as much damage caused.

        What would be fair/right to charge please in these circumstances? Ppty will need drying out, ceiling and floors repaired/replaced.

        Many thx in advance.
        I would suggest T pays whole excess since they should have notified you that property was being left empty and they should have turned the water off. End of.
        '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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          #5
          Originally posted by mind the gap View Post
          I would suggest T pays whole excess since they should have notified you that property was being left empty and they should have turned the water off. End of.
          Sounds fair to me, but there may also be an increase in future premiums.
          I also post as Moderator2 when moderating

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Mars Mug View Post
            Sounds fair to me, but there may also be an increase in future premiums.

            How do you charge for that? I charged a tenant full excess due to a water leak. My insurance premium has since been hiked and I have had double the excess now applied to that property out of my portfolio but until the renewal came through I didn't know what that hike would be.

            Comment


              #7
              You can get a quote at any time to gauge what the premium will be after making a claim, just include details of the claim. For a low value claim it may even be worthwhile checking before putting the claim in especially if there is excess to pay on top.
              I also post as Moderator2 when moderating

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Mars Mug View Post
                You can get a quote at any time to gauge what the premium will be after making a claim, just include details of the claim.
                But how many extra years' increased premiums should you factor in when charging T?
                '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

                Comment


                  #9
                  It’s usually indicated by the question when getting the quote e.g. have you claimed in the last ‘x’ years, though I don’t know if it’s a sliding scale.
                  I also post as Moderator2 when moderating

                  Comment


                    #10
                    The place that a T should turn off the water is the stop valve where the mains water enters the property, this will limit damage. Turning off valves further into the property is hit and miss as to whether it will prevent any leak.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by mind the gap View Post
                      But how many extra years' increased premiums should you factor in when charging T?
                      That was what I was getting at with my question but I worded it very badly. Thank you MTG for your question!

                      My claim ran into £1000s and I now have double the excess applied, probably as the claim was due to tenant negligence. However, how I would have calculated all of that to be a one off payment by the T I'm still not sure.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        When you get an online quote from your insurance company, or any other, then where you see a question like ‘Have you made a claim in the last 3 years’ then answer yes and provide details as if you had made the claim. This should give you some idea of the effect on your premiums when you next renew.
                        I also post as Moderator2 when moderating

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Mars Mug View Post
                          When you get an online quote from your insurance company, or any other, then where you see a question like ‘Have you made a claim in the last 3 years’ then answer yes and provide details as if you had made the claim. This should give you some idea of the effect on your premiums when you next renew.

                          Sorry, I am not making myself clear obviously. I understand what you are saying but I am trying to understand how much of the insurance premium increase you can charge to your tenant and also, in my case the excess increase. Premiums can go up for reasons other than a claim so would it be fair to charge 100% of 1st year's increase onto T or a proportion and what if the increases are to go on for years due to one claim, how do you calculate that? My T's are long gone now but I am interested for future reference. (God forbid)

                          I am trying to establish a formula for applying it as I only charged the excess. I also had to deduct the excess from the deposit when the T's left as they couldn't pay it at the time but now we have deposits protected you'd need to justify your charges in case of arbitration etc

                          Thank you for your patience

                          Comment


                            #14
                            You can get a quote for a premium without a claim then you get exactly the same quote but with the added difference of a claim. I would then say that the difference in price is entirely due to the claim and that’s the amount to consider charging the tenant (multiplied by the number of years that a claim affects the premium).

                            So if the difference in the premium is £100, and the insurance company will charge this much extra for the next three years then that’s £300. Then add on top any excess.

                            I suspect that you might even get a better calculation if you contact the insurance company directly. What I am suggesting is I think a reasonable approximation of your losses.

                            But the point, as you have found, is that making the tenant cover just the excess charge isn't likely to be enough.
                            I also post as Moderator2 when moderating

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Mars Mug View Post
                              But the point, as you have found, is that making the tenant cover just the excess charge isn't likely to be enough.

                              Thanks for that. Your quote above is quite true and having received the last of my cheques from my insurance company today for the claim it was obviously at the forefront of my mind. I hope to close the book on insurance claims in 2009after 13 months of dealing with one.

                              Comment

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