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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 12136
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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I live next door to a property that has two tenants. The

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I live next door to a property that has two tenants. The tenant in groundfloor flat had a party and lit a fire that was right next to party wall. I managed to aquire telephone numbers of landlord and my daughter posted photos to mobile number they called her back and informed her that it would be tenant that would be responsible for repair of wall and that I should inform them of criminal damage ......the fire reached the guttering causing it to bow. Yhe landlord of the property is refusing to discuss the matter and that I should deal with the tenant or report it to the police.I have done this as it is criminal damage. I've spoken with the tenant and she agrees that she is to blame but where do I stand, I've heard along the grapevine that she intends moving soon........I am a landlord myself ,my last tenant left with £1000 owing in the gas meter and as I didnt have a forwarding address for them I am paying that off at £30 per month

Hello for clarification - what does the damage amount to money wise?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
have not had any estimates but the whole wall would need to be painted,shall I get some estimates and get back to you

I don’t think this was criminal damage because there was no criminal intent and no intention to cause damage. I would be surprised if the police pursued it but if they do, all well and good. It was almost certainly negligent and reckless.

Whoever lit the fire is responsible for the damage and in my opinion the tenant of the ground for flat that had the party is jointly liable along with whoever did it for the cost of that damage.

Although I would like to say that I think the landlord is responsible also for allowing this, I don’t think it’s reasonably foreseeable that the damage would be caused in the way was by his tenant so I think a claim against the landlord is unlikely to succeed in respect of the damage.

If the tenant won’t pay up and and nor will the fire lighter than you cannot beat them with a stick until they do and your only remedy is to issue Small Claims Court proceedings against them and let a court judge decide the matter.

At this stage in time, you need to get a couple of quotations for repairing the damage and present those to the tenant of the downstairs flat and give her 14 days to pay and if you have been paid, don’t mess about, issue Small Claims Court proceedings which you can do quite easily here

Can I clarify anything else for you?

I’m happy to answer any specific points arising from this.

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If you still need any point clarifying, I will still reply because the thread does not close.

Best wishes.


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