How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • Go back-and-forth until satisfied
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Stuart J Your Own Question
Stuart J
Stuart J, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 23745
Experience:  Senior Partner at Berkson Wallace
11292137
Type Your Law Question Here...
Stuart J is online now

My housemate has accidentally broken my t.v. and is refusing

This answer was rated:

Hello, my housemate has accidentally broken my t.v. and is refusing responsibility.
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: London
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: We have just spoken via email
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: No

Hello. Thank you for the question. It is my pleasure to assist you with this today.

Please bear with me as I will be online and off-line from time to time and therefore, may be delayed getting back to you. You will receive an email when I reply.

Are you asking if you can do anything about this matter?

Stuart J and 4 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Hi Stuart,My housemate has said it is my fault I don't have insurance but will pay £100 (market value) as an act of good faith. The t.v new was close to £400I would like to know who is responsible for covering the cost. Who determines that cost and if this went to small claims court, what the likely outcome would be.R,KG

Are you free to talk now?

Customer: replied 10 days ago.

We have now spoken and I said that I would confirm what we spoke about.

The fact that this is not on the landlord’s inventory and it your personal television is immaterial.

The housemate that broke the television, however they did it, was negligent.

It will help if I explain how claims in negligence arise.

There needs to be

1.    a duty of care

2.    the duty of care needs to be breached

3.    as a result of the breach there needs to be loss or injury

4.    the loss or injury resulting from the breach must be reasonably foreseeable.

In order for there to be a claim in negligence, all 4  heads have to be satisfied.

In my opinion all four heads are satisfied and therefore you have a claim against the housemate in common law negligence.

If the television was 12 years old getting GBP400 for it would mean that you were better off because there would be an element of “betterment” and therefore it’s unlikely that your claim would succeed GBP400.

However a television which is only 2 years old clearly has plenty of life in it and it’s worth far more than GBP100.  In my estimate it’s worth between 350 and the full price of GBP400.

However you cannot beat the housemate up with the stick and if they don’t agree to pay up then your only remedy is to take them to the Small Claims Court.

You need to tell them, in writing, that they have until, say, 4 PM on Friday, 18 June 2021 to reimburse you four hundred pounds in full failing which you will issue Small Claims Court proceedings immediately thereafter.  Do that for the full amount of GBP400.

The new Moneyclaim beta system is easy to use: https://www.gov.uk/make-money-claim

the new system is much better than the old government Gateway system.

You can prepare the proceedings now, at your leisure, save them, and then just pay the fee and press the button when the deadline in your letter before action, expires.

It's then just a case of following the court process and responding to any emails that you receive.

I think you have an excellent chance of winning and to be frank I cannot see that the housemate has a defence.  I think you have a good chance of getting the full amount but even if the judge thinks it shouldn’t be, I would be very surprised if it was knocked down by more than about GBP50.

You are entitled to be put back into the position that you have been had the negligent act not occurred.

Thank you for letting me assist you with your legal question.  I am glad that I was able to help.

I am not certain whether that answers the question for you or not, but I am happy to answer any specific points arising from this.

It will be my pleasure to help you again either further with this or any future questions you have

Kind regards