Repair Issue

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    Repair Issue

    Just a question because I'm a bit stumped.

    Tenant goes out on the beer.
    Gets followed home by "someone" (not sure who and what happened when tenant was out, was there a confrontation with this person etc)
    This person follows home tenant and smashes the living room window and causes some damage to the front door.

    Tenant's 'relative' leaves a message on my answerphone at 4.30am saying that window is damaged and property is insecure and can we get this fixed.

    We call tenant at 8.45am (when we pick the message up) and tell tenant that responsibility is theirs as it states in their contract

    •To replace all broken glass in doors and windows damaged during the tenancy


    She says "ok" She also informs us that the police would not interview her at 5am regarding this as she was inebriated.

    We perform a drive by at 10.15 am to see that there is a maintenance company affixing corrugated plastic over the window, the police are also in attendance.



    3 days later we get a call from CAB stating that the Landlord is responsible for these repairs and that we should get the window replaced asap.
    They also state that the repair clause (above) is an unfair contract clause.

    I have written back to them and stated that on no account is the Landlord responsible for replacing the window etc etc

    Now, yesterday I get a letter from Shelter stating that the Landlord & Tenant Act 1985 section 11 requires that the Landlord keep in repair the structure and exterior of the property and thus repairs should be performed immediately or county court action will be commenced to enforce their legal right to repair.

    Then they quote section 4 Defective Premises Act 1972 and are trying to scaremonger by saying that if injury or damage occurs as a Landlords breach of Section 11 then they will be held liable in tort.

    That's the brief version but I don't feel that the Landlord is responsible in this case and would appreciate advice if anyone has any.
    Ambition is Critical

    I don't profess to be a knowledge in all areas, my advice is based on life experience.

    #2
    They are correct, T is only reponsible for damage they cause by negligence or personal intend.

    Damage caused by a third party or other act is your responsibility, there is a recent post on the forum where I post a number of tribunal case backing this position. (search broken glass)

    You have a police number so claim for the damage on your insurance as criminal damage. It is no different that a strong wind blowing a branch through the window.

    Just to add, a clause in a tenancy agreement cannot over ride statutory law, the acts quoted are statatory law
    Last edited by matthew_henson; 25-04-2010, 09:02 AM. Reason: Addition

    Comment


      #3
      Hi Matthew,
      Thanks for the response.

      I agree partly with what you are saying but surely if we were informed that the tenant had been "followed home" does this not imply that the tenant 'caused' the incident possibly when they were out?

      We have suggested that the tenants contents insurance 'may' cover this which we're looking into.



      We would / could have tenants smashing windows all over the place if the Landlord was left with this responsibility??
      Ambition is Critical

      I don't profess to be a knowledge in all areas, my advice is based on life experience.

      Comment


        #4
        The fact that the police were involved would suggest T is genuine in this instance although yes otherwise I would consider the claim dubious. It is about who commited the actually damage.

        Asking T to pay whether directly or indirectly (insurance) is still wrong, claim on your insurance and be done with it or you will in for a wholly pointless fight. If the same branch mentioned earlier went through the roof you wouldn't expect T to pay, it may not look it but in the eyes of the law it is the same

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by J4L View Post
          I agree partly with what you are saying but surely if we were informed that the tenant had been "followed home" does this not imply that the tenant 'caused' the incident possibly when they were out?

          We have suggested that the tenants contents insurance 'may' cover this which we're looking into.
          Very unlikely methinks - windows are definitely not 'contents': the only possibility is if the tenant has a policy which specifically covers this (ie, not just covering landlord's 'possessions' - and even those policies are a bit unusual unless you've made it a term of the contract).

          We would / could have tenants smashing windows all over the place if the Landlord was left with this responsibility??
          We could (though I've never suffered a broken window in a let property); but isn't that what your insurance is for?

          I'm sure you're right in your suspicions that the tenant's actions have in some way precipitated the damage but ultimately I think you're on a hiding to nothing, unfair as that may seem.

          Comment


            #6
            Tenant is genuine in what??

            Possibly aggravating a situation away from the house which caused the perpetrator to follow her home and cause damage to a window that they believed to be hers?

            In her own words she was too inebriated to be interviewed at 5am and we saw the police in attendance at 10.15 which backs that story up.

            She could have caused this whole situation herself and now the Landlord has to be held responsible?

            p.s. I have searched as per your suggestion AND searched your posts and found nothing, could you point me in another direction, it would be interesting to read.
            Ambition is Critical

            I don't profess to be a knowledge in all areas, my advice is based on life experience.

            Comment


              #7
              Thanks eric,

              Ok so maybe we aren't justified in saying that the tenant is responsible and would need to claim on the insurance.
              How about the excess then??

              We also state in our contract that

              • Insurance, the house is insured by the Landlord, but the Tenant is liable for any excess incurred by the Landlord, of any claim made which was the fault of the Tenant, or their guests. The Tenant(s) are responsible for the insurance of their own contents.

              Would this argument stand up?
              Ambition is Critical

              I don't profess to be a knowledge in all areas, my advice is based on life experience.

              Comment


                #8
                It doesn't matter what is written in the tenancy agreement, you could write "tenant must wear yellow on Tuesdays" if you like, it is wholly unenforceable.

                Chances are a bloke took a liking to T, wouldn't take no for an answer followed her home, she wouldn't let him in, being drunk he kicked the door in out of rejection annoyance. Unlikely he was an invited guest.

                If you let your property to young people this is fair risk and exactly what insurance is for.... you are insured I presume?

                I will find the details from the other posts for you

                Comment


                  #9
                  I am an agent, and manage in excess of 200 properties so I understand fully what tenancy agreements can and can't say and yes of course it's insured.

                  What I was looking for was an 'argument' or some previous case study showing that Landlords could dispute such a claim where a tenant uses section 11.
                  If we can't locate something then to be sure this situation doesn't happen again are there any suggestions as to how we can 'cover' this??

                  I was thinking of some sort of extended insurance policy for the tenant's contents that would include 'accidental' damage to windows etc??

                  Maybe clutching at straws but my duty is to manage and I'd like to find something that could potentially save our LL's money in the long run.
                  Ambition is Critical

                  I don't profess to be a knowledge in all areas, my advice is based on life experience.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by matthew_henson View Post

                    If you let your property to young people this is fair risk and exactly what insurance is for.... you are insured I presume?

                    I will find the details from the other posts for you
                    Not a young tenant either, a 'responsible' mother of 2!!!
                    Ambition is Critical

                    I don't profess to be a knowledge in all areas, my advice is based on life experience.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by J4L View Post
                      Not a young tenant either, a 'responsible' mother of 2!!!
                      I have four but they haven't got to that age yet.... however not so old as to not remember how I behaved in my 20's and I that was in property I owned!!

                      This is a good example in favour of T

                      http://www.ombudsman-wales.org.uk/up...ations/102.pdf

                      It uses Irvine v Moran as the argument which is quite a well used case

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by J4L View Post
                        I am an agent, and manage in excess of 200 properties so I understand fully what tenancy agreements can and can't say and yes of course it's insured.

                        What I was looking for was an 'argument' or some previous case study showing that Landlords could dispute such a claim where a tenant uses section 11.
                        If we can't locate something then to be sure this situation doesn't happen again are there any suggestions as to how we can 'cover' this??

                        I was thinking of some sort of extended insurance policy for the tenant's contents that would include 'accidental' damage to windows etc??

                        Maybe clutching at straws but my duty is to manage and I'd like to find something that could potentially save our LL's money in the long run.
                        I suspect in most instances of broken windows T just repairs it without telling L, I am lucky to now only have one property but before T's other half left we saw three windows broken and fixed by them.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          I am thinking that a contribution to the Landlord's building insurance may be the way to go with this.
                          I am thinking of dividing the excess (let's say £100) by 12 and stating that should the windows remain intact for the 12 month period then the monies will be refunded???
                          Ambition is Critical

                          I don't profess to be a knowledge in all areas, my advice is based on life experience.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by J4L View Post
                            I am thinking that a contribution to the Landlord's building insurance may be the way to go with this.
                            I am thinking of dividing the excess (let's say £100) by 12 and stating that should the windows remain intact for the 12 month period then the monies will be refunded???
                            I am guessing one of LL's is on a crusade about this and really really objects to paying but your original post says it all. If T is not respossible (or should I say if can not proven the T is responssible) then L has to repair under S11. Its as clear as day

                            The clause you are mulling is just as enforceable as my "wearing yellow on Tuesdays". Also what you are trying to do will blur the line between T and L's responsibility, it suggests T breaks window and L will claim on his insurance as opposed to T breaks window, T pays for repair one way or another

                            Anyway that is why you take a deposit is it not?

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Of course the deposit is there and I understand that but should there be a disagreement over who's responsibility this is then we will have the same issue with arbitration over a tenant's deposit.

                              I'm trying to think of a way 'outside the box' to combat issues like this aside from just increasing rent to cover this.
                              Ambition is Critical

                              I don't profess to be a knowledge in all areas, my advice is based on life experience.

                              Comment

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