Tenant with holding rent because of sick cat! Who's liable?

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  • Tenant with holding rent because of sick cat! Who's liable?

    Hello
    My tenant has with held a portion of her rent as she believes i am liable for an injury on her kitten!
    I had arranged for a maintenance company to attend the property to cut and fit a new kitchen work top. The work men left the property, and when my tenant returned she says her kitten had been hit on the head by a piece of wood left by the workmen leaning against the kitchen wall.
    She says she has paid vets bills of £600 and believes that either the contractor or myself are liable. I have asked her to deal directly with the contractor and to request their insurance details, but she says they have ignored her calls, and been rude to her (i don't believe this to be true).
    She says she now believes that i too may be liable.
    I have no idea as i can't seem to find a clear cut legal answer.

    Any ideas?
    My first thought is she should claim on her own pets insurance (which she doesn't have) or should write directly to the contractor....

    Kate

  • #2
    Tenant's contractual relationship is with you, not your workmen: I'm not surprised they are ignoring her calls. I'd ask for copies of bills & make a gesture - but not the whole £600: If she is still unhappy S21...

    Hope moggy is better.


    Cheers!
    I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

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    • #3
      Have you phoned your insurance company?
      What does your contractor say to you when you question them about the incident or their insurance details?
      Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

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      • #4
        Does your tenancy agreement forbid pets?

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by theartfullodger View Post
          Tenant's contractual relationship is with you, not your workmen: I'm not surprised they are ignoring her calls. I'd ask for copies of bills & make a gesture - but not the whole £600: If she is still unhappy S21...

          Hope moggy is better.


          Cheers!
          Yeah, I think I'd make a gesture too. Probably not the sort the tenant was looking for though.

          Comment


          • #6
            Oh dear, kitty wasn't hit by a car? vindictive neighbour? passer-by? Ask her for some kind of evidence.

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            • #7
              I don't think that the landlord has any direct liability here: If contractor left the kitchen unsafe and that resulted in an accident then they are responsible and should see with their insurance.

              That been said, I have serious doubts that a cat would be caught as suggested unless it decided to sleep right at the wrong place. From the description, the tenant was not even there when this happened, so I also doubt she knows that this is what happened.
              As suggested, cat might have otherwise been hurt and tenant is now trying to pin it down on the easiest target.

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              • #8
                deny it and do not admit liability. S21 and sue for the rent at the end: she will have to prove it is your fault!
                Unshackled by the chains of idle vanity, A modest manatee, that's me

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                • #9
                  Good grief. You have a duty of care towards your tenants, not her pets.

                  £600 to repair a cat? She's taking the urine.

                  Bring in the ferrets. (regulars know what I mean.)
                  I offer no guarantee that anything I say is correct. wysiwyg

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by theartfullodger View Post

                    Hope moggy is better.
                    Yes,hope moggy is better
                    Thunderbirds are go

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by kate qpr View Post
                      The work men left the property, and when my tenant returned she says her kitten had been hit on the head by a piece of wood left by the workmen leaning against the kitchen wall.
                      I agree with jjlandlord. How on earth could the T know that the cat had been hit on the head by a piece of wood when she didn't see it happen?

                      Was the cat lying unconscious or bleeding with a piece of wood on top of the cat or its head?

                      How big was the piece of wood that allegedly fell on the cat?

                      (And why replace a kitchen worktop mid-tenancy?)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by westminster View Post
                        (And why replace a kitchen worktop mid-tenancy?)
                        An assassination attempt on the kitty I think.. This should become a criminal case!
                        [I]The opinions I give are simply my opinions and interpretations of what I have learnt, in numerous years as a property professional, I would not rely upon them without consulting with a paid advisor and providing them with all the relevant facts[I]

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                        • #13
                          I suppose when the workman was told he injured the cat he replied "me, how?"
                          (sorry)
                          Unshackled by the chains of idle vanity, A modest manatee, that's me

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