Bathroon sink cracked by falling shelf- who is liable?

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  • Bathroon sink cracked by falling shelf- who is liable?

    Scenario

    Tenant has been a model tenant, rent has been paid on time throughout lease. However, at end of lease at checkout a large crack has been found on bathroom sink. Tenant says that this has been caused by toothbrush holder falling from faulty fitted shelf above sink and is accidental damage, which landlord should be covered for.

    Landlord says tenant should be responsible for this

    Both willing to take each other to court

    Who is right? Both are not willing to accept any blame or negotiate to meet half way

    Thoughts much appreciated

  • #2
    Hi

    I am a fairly new landlord, but in my agreements it says that tenants are responsible for the upkeep of all fixtures and fittings, and must bear the cost of repair. Also did the tenant not inform the landlord at the time of the incident ? so if the landlord did have insurance a claim could have been submitted. If it was my property I would deduct cost of repair.
    Hope this helps

    Katrina

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by scotia View Post
      Scenario

      Tenant has been a model tenant, rent has been paid on time throughout lease. However, at end of lease at checkout a large crack has been found on bathroom sink. Tenant says that this has been caused by toothbrush holder falling from faulty fitted shelf above sink and is accidental damage, which landlord should be covered for.

      Landlord says tenant should be responsible for this

      Both willing to take each other to court

      Who is right? Both are not willing to accept any blame or negotiate to meet half way

      Thoughts much appreciated
      Got to be down to the tenants. But if it's going to court anyway, then you will soon find out.

      Comment


      • #4
        I agree with colin. If it happened as the tenant said surely they would have reported it at the time. If the tenant hasnt said anything about it until it was spotted at check out I leads me to think they are reponsable and hoping it wouldnt be noticed.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by katrinahale View Post
          Hi

          I am a fairly new landlord, but in my agreements it says that tenants are responsible for the upkeep of all fixtures and fittings, and must bear the cost of repair. Also did the tenant not inform the landlord at the time of the incident ? so if the landlord did have insurance a claim could have been submitted. If it was my property I would deduct cost of repair.
          Hope this helps

          Katrina
          Then I hope you never have to rely on enforcing this, as you wouldnt stand a chance. The up keep of fixtures and fittings are the landlords responsibility unless tenant causes accidental or deliberate damage.

          Whats happened in these circumstances appears to be neither, the damage has apparently been caused by a badly fitted shelf. Take a step back and think if it had been reported when it occured would the landlord be covering it? if the answers yes then I would like your chances of making the tenant pay for it just because it hasnt been reported. In mho the reporting of it is a side issue.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by scotia View Post
            Tenant says that this has been caused by toothbrush holder falling from faulty fitted shelf above sink
            You haven't said - is that plausible/realistic? ie, is/was the shelf fitted poorly, and would this have caused the toothbrush holder to fall into the sink, and if so, is this likely to have caused the observed damage?

            Comment


            • #7
              And does the landlord's insurance company have any kind of conditions on how promptly damage has to be reported for a claim to be valid? And does the tenancy agreement contain any terms relating to any excess on insurance policies regarding tenant's liabilities (who's to say tenant hadn't overloaded shelf?)

              There are a lot of details to consider in this one, and as has often been said, the devil's in the detail.

              Comment


              • #8
                A more important question is, how old is the sink?

                If it's 20 years old, it's probably only worth about £10 anyway, which therefore is the maximum that T can be asked to pay.

                Peter

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by pcwilkins View Post
                  A more important question is, how old is the sink?

                  If it's 20 years old, it's probably only worth about £10 anyway, which therefore is the maximum that T can be asked to pay.

                  Peter
                  Plus the cost of the plumber to stick it in!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Colincbayley View Post
                    Plus the cost of the plumber to stick it in!
                    Hmmm, not sure. Surely one has to take fair wear and tear into account in that regard as well.

                    For example, suppose house has a 30-year old carpet, and T burns it so that it needs replacing. LL obviously cannot charge T for entire cost of a new carpet, but can he charge T for the entire cost of fitting a new carpet? Doesn't that mean that LL is improving the property at T's expense?

                    I would imagine that if cost of carpet = £1000 and cost of fitting = £500 then "total cost" of new carpet is £1500. If carpet is expected to last 40 years, and T burns it so that it needs replacing after 30 years, T should be asked to pay a quarter of "total cost" of new carpet, i.e. £375.

                    Whereas by your logic, T would be asked to pay a quarter of cost of the actual carpet (i.e. £250) plus the whole cost of fitting --- i.e. total of £750.

                    Unless I've misunderstood you...

                    Peter

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by pcwilkins View Post
                      Unless I've misunderstood you...

                      Peter
                      Yep, I think you have.
                      Carpets tend to wear out a lot quicker than a sink.
                      Sinks just tend to get dirty, out of fashion or break. I have never seen a sink that is just 'worn out'

                      Comment

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