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adonaghy

Burst Pipe

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A pipe burst recently in my rented property. Water leaked from a pipe drenching the living room below, walls and carpets. My building insurance will pay for damage to structure and clean carpets. They deem house habitable as theres gas heating and kitchen and upper rooms not affected.

The tenants say his chest is affected by dampness and is moving out next monday demanding the folowing :-

I repair/replace a table and chairs, two rugs, and reupholster his setee and 3 armchairs. They possessed an industrial bissel machine and did a good job on clearing up whilst I had plumber , electrician and delivery of dehumidifiers via the insurers. They have said I should pay them rent paid in advance as the are leaving without giving said months notice . Tenancy agreement says they must have contents insurance and they say they have this and the insurers refuse to pay saying myself, the landord is liable. I have building insurance only and thought this sufficient.

Im not keeping them to the required notice, but am I liable for their damaged furniture?

 

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Definitely not.

It always amazes me how tenants have a misplaced expectation of entitlement.

Note: Tenants are not entitled to any special treatment over and above that which an owner occupier could expect in the same situation.

From your description you have not been negligent, you acted promptly, responsibly and carried out the necessary work to repair the damage. End of. Pay them nothing.

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Your building insurer is already aware of the incident so just contact them to tell them of the tenant's accusations so they can handle them for you. IF it is causing a health problem, you should have alternative accomodation cover and IF you are liable for damage to the tenant's property you should have property owners liability cover.

Both of these however are big IFS and (as above comments mention) are highly unlikely. The tenant would need to provide proof of his/her health claims and would also have to officially hold you liable. I would just give everything to your insurer and tell your tenant that it is out of your hands as your insurance company and their solicitors are dealing with it.

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Thank you for your responses which are reassuring. Luckily for all concerned, the couple have found a fabulous bungalow vacant with much more space and a garage to suit their needs. Hes issued me with a stern letter stating what I owe him on a daily basis for his early departure. He states I have asked him to move which I did not, however i did inform them that in order to make good the walls and ceiling that it would be impossible for their furniture to remain in the affected areas. I couldnt make this up! He notified me of the flood by EMAIL! Rather than call the mobile number of myself or daughter (a qualified plumber) supplied he said he lost these. Unbelievable.

 

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Play him at his own game......

I'm sure you can find some reason why he will not be entitled to a refund of the whole of his deposit. Drag it out as long as possible even if adjudication eventually find in his favour you will have delayed him getting his money.     And/or

Tell him to take court action, you can robustly defend any claim he makes for compensation. He'll be funding the court action, not you. The judge will laugh it out of court.

In your shoes i'd be looking forward to the battle, sometimes being a landlord has some advantages.

 

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10 hours ago, adonaghy said:

 I couldn't make this up!  He notified me of the flood by EMAIL! Rather than call the mobile number of myself or daughter (a qualified plumber) supplied he said he lost these. Unbelievable.

 

 Just picking up on this. To avoid this happening I make up a comprehensive list of contact numbers and addresses on an A4 page and this is kept in an A4 file folder marked. "Tenant Information" in the property. 

                    In this folder are copies of everything from smoke alarm certificates to copies of the DPS etc. etc.  I then photograph the A4 file folder on my phone camera as proof.

There can be absolutely no excuse by any tenant for stating that they "didn't know" or "I lost your phone number."

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1 hour ago, Melboy said:

 Just picking up on this. To avoid this happening I make up a comprehensive list of contact numbers and addresses on an A4 page and this is kept in an A4 file folder marked. "Tenant Information" in the property. 

                    In this folder are copies of everything from smoke alarm certificates to copies of the DPS etc. etc.  I then photograph the A4 file folder on my phone camera as proof.

There can be absolutely no excuse by any tenant for stating that they "didn't know" or "I lost your phone number."

It's worse than that !!!!

It's a legal requirement......legislation came in Oct 2015 I believe.......landlords now have to provide tenants with a 'template for reporting repairs'. The format is up to the landlord but I suspect many landlords don't bother.

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