Damage to washing machine

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  • Damage to washing machine

    I have a tenant in a furnished flat...this includes a washing machine (brand new and installed after the start of the tenancy).
    One day the owner of the property below my flat said that water was coming from her ceiling. My tenant (in the flat above) said that the washing machine was not working - no water in the machine. But there was a lot of water under the machine and in the flat below.
    I called an engineer to repair the machine. The cause was a small hole in the outer plastic drum of the machine. The engineer said that from years of experience he was 100% certain that a coin had fallen out of a pocket in the laundry, entered the seal between the inner drum and the door, and fallen between the inner and outer drums. Once the machine was on its spin cycle, the coin damaged the outer drum, creating the hole from which water escaped.

    Because the washing machine was used with a coin in the laundry (and thus was not used in accordance with the instructions), the insurance policy would not pay out.

    Can I hold the tenant liable for the costs of repairing the machine, as well as repairs to my neighbour's flat? Can I use the deposit money to pay for these repairs?

    Many thanks.

  • #2
    In theory you probably could, if you can get in writing from the engineer as to this being the cause. Did you supply the tenant with the instruction manual for the washing machine when he moved into the property?
    Any posts by myself are my opinion ONLY. They should never be taken as correct or factual without confirmation from a legal professional. All information is given without prejudice or liability.

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    • #3
      The instruction booklet was left with the tenant when the machine was installed.

      By the way, is there a landlord's insurance policy that would cover such "accidental damage" to any of the furnishings and appliances in the flat?

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      • #4
        Originally posted by henryw View Post
        Because the washing machine was used with a coin in the laundry (and thus was not used in accordance with the instructions), the insurance policy would not pay out.
        Surely - and correct me if I'm wrong - your insurance hasn't paid out because you don't have an 'accidental damage' policy? If not, I can't see why this wouldn't be classed as an 'accident': or is there a suggestion that the tenant deliberately tried to sabotage the machine by smuggling a coin into his washing?

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