Scotland: tenant injured in property- am I liable?

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  • Scotland: tenant injured in property- am I liable?

    Hi everyone, i hope this is the right section. If not i am sorry as it is my first post. I am a landlord in Scotland and one of my tentants injured her hand while cleaning a door leading to the kitchen. The glass smashed as she was cleaning and it resulted in a nasty cut to her pinky finger with her requiring stitches and later physio. Am i liable if i was to be sued? (I assume my insurance provides me with cover) The glass was toughened but there must have been a small crack in it to smash. It was a couple of months ago and the tenants haven't indicated they will be taking any legal action. They are a young professional couple and the male's name is on the lease. Can any one advise? Cheers folks, great site.

  • #2
    WARNING: Scottish law is different from that of E&W where most LZ members are based.
    JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
    1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
    2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
    3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
    4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

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    • #3
      Originally posted by jeffrey View Post
      WARNING: Scottish law is different from that of E&W where most LZ members are based.
      Yes i kno that. I was hoping someone on here would know a bit about scottish law though. Are the laws governing my situation broadly the same? Thanks

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      • #4
        You would have to ask someone familiar with both legal systems (Scottish and English). I think these people are very rare because it costs a fortune to train a lawyer and they go for one or the other, not both. (It's not like medicine where a Scottish varicose vein is very much the same as an English one!)

        Landlordzone definitely needs a Scottish section. (Alternatively, Scots nationalists might like to set up their own zone!)

        Even if the third person liability laws were 'broadly similar', there may be some nitpicky little clause in the Scots legislation which scuppers your case, which you'd need to know about.

        However, don't you have landlord's insurance for third person liability? e.g if your chimney pot was blown off in a storm and hit your tenant's car? I suppose in your case (if the tenant sued) it might depend on whether the glass breaking were deemed to result from a) over-enthusiastic cleaning, or b) negligence on your part (e.g. if there was a crack - but how could anyone prove that after the event, unless they had a photo of it before it broke?)
        '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

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        • #5
          I think the way forward would be to wait and see what the tenants reaction is before worrying further. If she isnt making threatening noises then leave it alone. Remmember its only the small minority of people that try and exctract money out of every ill fortune they suffer!

          Of course I suggest you dont withhold part of her deposit at the end of the tenancy for a broken door pane!

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          • #6
            I wouldn't worry. Tenants after compensation don't wait two months to complain!

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            • #7
              Originally posted by mind the gap View Post
              However, don't you have landlord's insurance for third person liability? e.g if your chimney pot was blown off in a storm and hit your tenant's car? I suppose in your case (if the tenant sued) it might depend on whether the glass breaking were deemed to result from a) over-enthusiastic cleaning, or b) negligence on your part (e.g. if there was a crack - but how could anyone prove that after the event, unless they had a photo of it before it broke?)
              I do have liability insurance but that isnt really the point. Not a nice feeling to be sued! Surely a window pane should be able to withstand some cleaning no matter how enthusiastic!

              Originally posted by Planner View Post
              I think the way forward would be to wait and see what the tenants reaction is before worrying further. If she isnt making threatening noises then leave it alone. Remmember its only the small minority of people that try and exctract money out of every ill fortune they suffer!

              Of course I suggest you dont withhold part of her deposit at the end of the tenancy for a broken door pane!
              Seems that she is thinking about this course of action. LOL i had it fixed!

              Originally posted by Telometer View Post
              I wouldn't worry. Tenants after compensation don't wait two months to complain!
              I wish! Wonder how much they will get if successful? Any ideas?

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