'spontaneous' glass shattering in door - who pays?

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    'spontaneous' glass shattering in door - who pays?

    Please could you help me with a problem. Our tenant moved out of the property last Weds, apparently locked up and left with no sign of broken glass. When she returned to the property the next day to clean and sort out last bits, she saw one of the panes of the external door was shattered. It is a double glazed conservatory door and only the inside pane is broken. She denies that anything happened to cause it.

    I went to visit today and there is a very obvious centre of the shatter pattern - ie something hit it.

    Because the tenant denies accidental damage, the insurance company won't pay. But the tenancy agreement says that she is only responsible if broken glass is due to negligence.

    Even though it seems obvious to me that something hit it (coincidence that it was the day all her furniture was moved out!) can we do anything about this? It seems we will have to pay up as we can't claim from either insurance or tenant...

    #2
    Deduct cost from deposit.

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      #3
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spontaneous_glass_breakage
      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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        #4
        Originally posted by JK0 View Post
        Deduct cost from deposit.
        That would be the plan... but I just need to understand if I would be right in doing so. (Deposit is held by TDS).

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          #5
          You can propose the deduction, tenant can refuse and raise a dispute, at which point you will have to prove your case.

          It seems that you can provide evidence that this occured when tenant was moving out, and that there is an impact pattern on the broken, internal pane, while the external one is intact.
          I would think that the balance of probabilities is to your advantage...

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            #6
            To clarify, TDS doesn't hold deposits as it is insurance based. If your scheme holds the deposit it will be with DPS.

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              #7
              Brilliant, thanks. Yes, DPS, am new to this game and acronyms!

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                #8
                It does happen, often due to temperature differences between internal and external sheets of glass in the DG unit. I have heard of it before and sure its been mentioned here.

                Personally, as its so early in the tenancy and tenant has right of "innocence until proven guilty" I would get it replaced as a goodwill gesture. How old is the DG? Does it still have a guarantee? It may have been a fitting fault - too tight tolerances on the unit fitting in the frame can overstress the glass. Might be worth getting original fitters back and trying to claim if there is still a guarantee.

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                  #9
                  Raise the dispute via DPS ADR, providing evidence that only the internal d/g pane was shattered, on the same day T removed her furniture. Claim for cost of replacememt d/g sealed unit, quoting age of door/broken unit.

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                    #10
                    Originally posted by LesleyAnne View Post
                    It does happen, often due to temperature differences between internal and external sheets of glass in the DG unit. I have heard of it before and sure its been mentioned here.
                    It's happened to me; but the key point here is that the OP notes an impact pattern; which is absolutely not suggestive of any sort of spontaneous breakage. With that, you'll just get a crack or maybe cracks appearing.

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                      #11
                      I agree. If there's a defined impact point then it's not going to be a 'spontaneous breakage'.
                      There is always scope for misinterpretation.

                      If my posts can be interpreted in two ways, one that makes you feel angry and one that doesn't, I meant the latter.

                      Everyday is an opportunity to learn something new.

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                        #12
                        Originally posted by LesleyAnne View Post
                        I have heard of it before and sure its been mentioned here.
                        About two or three cases per year, though often difficult to verify with a lack of photographs (could make all the difference to a claim of course).
                        I also post as Mars_Mug when not moderating

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