Damage caused by neighbour's trapped cat

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    Damage caused by neighbour's trapped cat

    My tenants went away for 4 nights and I had a call from a neighbour on the 5th day to say that she had spotted her cat on the windowsill of the property and asked if I could come and let the cat out. I did so, deeming it enough of an emergency to enter without the permission of the tenant, but did leave a message on the wife's mobile to let her know I was going into the house. The cat messed on ALL of the beds (urine on 2 double beds and one cot bed and defecated on a second cot bed). I paid for two new cot mattresses and for duvets to be washed. I washed the entire remainder of the bed linen myself. The owner of the cat said my actions were "over the top" and that she would not reimburse my for the cost of the new mattresses and laundry. She has offered no apology to the tenants. Is the owner of the cat responsible or the tenants of the property for expenses I have incurred?

    #2
    I have a feeling - and I could be wrong - that cats actions are not the responsibility of their owners. IF I am correct, that lets the owner off the hook.

    IF you undertook the cleaning etc without the tenant requesting it and agreeing to the cost, then I can not see the tenant being liable either.

    You may be able to get a small contribution off the tenant as presumably they left the window open that allowed the cat to get in. However, YOUR actions were taken of your own free will, and I suspect you will have to pay for your kindness.

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by Snorkerz View Post
      I have a feeling - and I could be wrong - that cats actions are not the responsibility of their owners. IF I am correct, that lets the owner off the hook.

      IF you undertook the cleaning etc without the tenant requesting it and agreeing to the cost, then I can not see the tenant being liable either.

      You may be able to get a small contribution off the tenant as presumably they left the window open that allowed the cat to get in. However, YOUR actions were taken of your own free will, and I suspect you will have to pay for your kindness.
      Thanks for that. I didn't know about cats' owners not being liable, but I do now! I'm putting the whole thing down to experience. Trying to be helpful does cost money, though!

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by Ireland View Post
        My tenants went away for 4 nights and I had a call from a neighbour on the 5th day to say that she had spotted her cat on the windowsill of the property and asked if I could come and let the cat out. I did so, deeming it enough of an emergency to enter without the permission of the tenant, but did leave a message on the wife's mobile to let her know I was going into the house. The cat messed on ALL of the beds (urine on 2 double beds and one cot bed and defecated on a second cot bed). I paid for two new cot mattresses and for duvets to be washed. I washed the entire remainder of the bed linen myself. The owner of the cat said my actions were "over the top" and that she would not reimburse my for the cost of the new mattresses and laundry. She has offered no apology to the tenants. Is the owner of the cat responsible or the tenants of the property for expenses I have incurred?
        What a lovely landlord you are, agreed with the other post that having done this wonderful act of kindness you are going to struggle to get paid for it.

        The tenant should have really paid for it as it is their home (hassen to add not their property) and any home owner would be expected to deal with that kind of mess as it would be very difficult to apportion blame. It is certainly not L's responsibility.

        Much to the consternation of other forum members I always say what comes around going around, in this instance you did a very kind thing, I hope both the tenant is suitably grateful (with some cash I hope) and some form of kindness will happen to you in the future

        Comment


          #5
          How did the cat get in ?

          If the tenants deliberately left the cat in the property OR if they failed to shut all windows and doors before leaving, I would hold them responsible.

          It would be unreasonable to blame the cat owner in my view. How was she to know that her neighbours would allow/leave Tiddles locked in your property.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by norroy View Post
            How did the cat get in ?

            If the tenants deliberately left the cat in the property OR if they failed to shut all windows and doors before leaving, I would hold them responsible.
            Won't hold because it was not up to LL how to remedy the situation - T's may have wanted to clean up themselves at zero cost
            It would be unreasonable to blame the cat owner in my view. How was she to know that her neighbours would allow/leave Tiddles locked in your property.
            If tiddles got in via a window that was left open, then he was not locked in - because the window would still have been open - he was just too daft to work that out.

            However, tiddles owner seems to be expecting a bill - but is obviously worried about the size. OP has already discussed this with owner, maybe he could ask owner (who claims the works are OT) what would have been a reasonable level of cleaning - there is an opportunity there for landlord to get at least a voluntary contribution towards the cleaning.

            Also, presuming Ts did leave the property insecure, there might be room to suggest that they contribute to the cost too. If they are good Ts, I'd be inclined to skip that though.

            None of this is enforceable - just relying on peoples sence of decency.

            Comment


              #7
              The law likes three things: cats, cricket and trees.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Snorkerz View Post

                Also, presuming Ts did leave the property insecure
                I wouldn't presume this at all. Cats sneak in to places (curiosity kills them) without humans being aware.

                Very possibly this cat sneaked into next door's place just before they locked up to go away, without the tenants' having the faintest idea that there was a cat in their home.

                Cat's owner would not have had any idea what was going on at the time. And they are not responsible for cat's actions. [Would be different with a dog though!]

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Lawcruncher View Post
                  The law likes three things: cats, cricket and trees.
                  Is that why very few cats are successfully prosecuted?
                  '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


                    #10
                    Originally posted by mind the gap View Post
                    Is that why very few cats are successfully prosecuted?
                    Thats cool for cats

                    Comment


                      #11
                      my neighbours cats always have a habit of sneaking in to my house though my open patio doors during the warm weather (although they could always get out via cat flap). However personally speaking I would take it on the chin should they make a mess in the house and would not even ask their owners for any costs.

                      Its very nice of you to do this and I think that the tenants should at least contribute something towards your kind actions.

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                        #12
                        Would the insurance pay up under damage caused by vermin?

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by mind the gap View Post
                          Is that why very few cats are successfully prosecuted?
                          They are not even prosecuted as they are considered outside the law. Cats of course know this.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by Lawcruncher View Post
                            They are not even prosecuted as they are considered outside the law. Cats of course know this.
                            They know lots of things, in fact, for which they are given very little credit.
                            '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


                              #15
                              Originally posted by mind the gap View Post
                              They know lots of things, in fact, for which they are given very little credit.
                              Being an owner of 2 and part time mummy of 5 I agree entirely with the above comments!

                              Comment

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