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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70194
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Can a landlord force a tenant to pay damage

Customer Question

Can a landlord force a tenant to pay for Accidental damage to built-in appliances if the landlord has insurance?
My friend rents a flat which has built-in appliances in the kitchen. The Tenancy agreement states that the landlord is not responsible for the Tenants possessions, and that a copy of the Landlords Insurance would be supplied to the tenant (a clause in the tenancy contract under the section "Landlords Obligations"). This insurance copy has never been forthcoming (because we suspect he doesn't have any), and we have never been obligated to take out any other insurance to cover HIS fixtures and fittings. An accident slightly damaged the cooker hob, and now the landlord expects my friend to pay for the replacement in full. Is accidental damage the same as negligence? Or because the Landlord failed to supply a copy of his insurance, is the Landlord in default, thereby rendering the contract null.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Hi.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
What was the cause of the accidental damage?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

A glass bottle containing cooking oil slipped and caught the corner of the hob. The glass chipped and caused a crack across the corner of the hob. The hob is still fully functional. Is the landlord reasonable to expect a replacement (instead of a repair)?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
It depends whether a repair can be done adequately.
He is not under any obligation to use his insurance. He can claim upon his insurance but he has a perfectly good claim against the tenant and can pursue it if he wishes. There is no defence in saying he should have claimed upon insurance.
You could argue that is just wear and tear though. Obviously it isn't damage caused by normal usage but wear and tear has been held to include some accidental damage. It is always a difficult point to make but it is an option.
Failing that though, you could ask him to prove that this could not have been adequately remedied by repair. It doesn't sound the worst fault in the world but I don't know whether or not a crack of this nature is capable of repair.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Jo
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

OK, but what about my second point regarding the breach of the Terms of the Landlords obligations by the Landlord NOT supplying a copy of the insurance so we whether to take out additional insurance of not. A new hob is in excess of £400

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
It is non issue to the point here.
That may be a breach of the agreement but there was no loss arising from it and it doesn't go to the issue here which is whether or not this is reasonable wear and tear and whether it could be repaired.
Jo C. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thanks for that. I'll get back to my friend and see how they want to proceed.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
No problem and all the best.
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