Help Please!!!! Please!!

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    Help Please!!!! Please!!

    Hi All,

    I need some help...

    We had a fire in February 2010 where my Girlfriend left a chip pan on, and unfortunately caused damage to the kitchen; mainly smoke damage. We reported this to the Landlord the day after - he was ok, and said that he could sort in the next three days. This wasnt sorted when he said it would, and thus we had to find alternative accommodation. For the month we were not there we paid our rent.

    We did not get our deposit back which is understandable, our tenancy agreement was mutually terminated by both parties, in which we handed in a months notice as soon as the fire.

    We have now been handed a bill for £1,910.75 which we cannot afford to pay. I am wondering if anyone could offer any advice, as we have read our rental agreement and have come accross clause 4 of the Tenancy Agreement. But also we have paid a deposit which we lost, and he has not mentioned deducting the deposit or the months rent we paid while we didnt live there.

    Clause 4 of Tenancy Agreement
    4.1 Insurance
    To keep the premises (and the building) insured against against loss or damage by fire, tempest, flood, or explosion and such other risks as the landlord shall consider appropiate, provided that there should be no liability on the landlord.
    4.1.1 To insure any goods or effects whatsoever of the tenant; or
    4.1.2 To insure the premises (or the building) or any goods or items whatsoever against accidental damage by the Tenant or damage due to negligence or fault of the Tenant.

    Any help would be much appreciated – and if anyone would like any further clarification on the order of events please let me know. For the record we have always been good tenants in paying our rent and it has never been late.

    Many thnks in advance

    Is the bill from the landlord or the tradesman? Have you clarified if it takes into account any payments already made? Was the bill only for fire damage, or does it include rent etc?

    Do you have any proof that the landlord agreed to your surrender of the property - if not, you were probably liable for the full fixed term.

    Did you insure the property against your own negligence as required by the clause you quote? Even if you expect the landlord to claim on his insurance, they will probably look to you for recompense.

    I am not sure why you expect to be compensated for alternative accommodation when the cause of this need was your own negligence. However, I admit that I do not know if you would have any legal right to those costs - others will be along soon to comment.


      The clause is an obligation on L (not on T) to insure the building. L is inescapably responsible for its structure: s.11 of LTA 1985.
      T remains liable for insuring own goods and for consequences of own accidents/negligence.
      JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
      1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
      2. Telephone advice: see
      3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
      4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).


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