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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
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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: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year 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 1 year 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 1 year 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 1 year 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 1 year 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., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69520
Experience: Over 5 years in practice
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.

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

Expert:  Jo C. replied 1 year ago.
No problem and all the best.
Remember that I am always available to help with your questions. Even if I am in Court I will usually pick up a question within 12 hours. For future information, please start your question with ‘For Jo C’. You can also bookmark my profile http://www.justanswer.co.uk/law/expert-remus2004/

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