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Personal injury at BTL property Advice sought!

Simon Dewsberry

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Hi All

Have a situation which is a first for me !

Looking for any advice any one has?

Got a tenant who "alledgedly" fell thru manhole and broke a foot at rear of one of my props.There are No witnesses.

Solicitor is claiming three things

1. compensation due to breach of lease "failure to maintain drains at property"

2. loss of 2 jobs one full time one part time

3. trying to reclaim rent on basis have put tenant in position that they cant earn money due to my "neglect"

Have argued all 3 points

1. Lease is for room at property( hmo -room only) and that not only does it not extend to land at rear of property (back garden) but that according to lease terms i could in fact counter sue for tresspass on land to rear of my prop.

2. Joke - as no employer will cite injury as reason for termination of employment.

3. Completely seperate issue and not in any way connected!

Case has been ongoing for 6 mths - Insurance co have put solicitor on it to fact find and as yet still not committing to first whether policy covers it or secondly if they will accept the claim!!!

Drain was blocked some 12 weeks before incident and was rodded and jetted - Manhole and cover known and documented to be A1 at this time also checked after incident and found to be okay!

Only possibility is drain cover tampered with and left at acute angle to allow anyone to fall in !

either by tenant guest or intruder.

My question is - does any one know of any statutes to allow claim to proceed any further or comment on insurance position?



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My one comment is that it sounds to my legally untrained ears that this situation is beyond "advice in a forum" stage and well into the "hire an experienced and skilled lawyer" stage. If this were an entirely theoretical "what if" scenario then I'd be happy to share thoughts. But since this is for real, I'm completely unqualified to speak and think that (legal) amateur discussions would do far more harm than good.

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I would have to agree.

If you don't already have a solicitor, I could let you have the details of a couple of my contacts.



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Hi All

thanks for the comments - as stated insurance sol is on the case but is not commiting to any thing other than writing a lot of letters and drumming up a large bill ( for ins co - not me ! ) ( as they instructed her - not me !) just it is becoming pain in the Axxx wasting my time !

Just wondered if anyone had any similar experiences?

Have my personal solicitor overviewing the matter as well !


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I had a tenant a few years ago who managed to smash a window in a common area on his wrists?!?

His (no win no fee) solicitor claimed it was unsafe, and broke as he closed it carefully.

I argued with my insurance company that whilst I had a duty of care to the tenant, it was not broken because:

1. The tenancy agreement stated that the tenants had to 'notify promptly any disrepair etc'.

2. The most recent safety check had not flagged up a problem.

3. I had acted promptly to remedy the problem.

The insurance company trashed the claim because they did not want to roll over and play dead.

If I have any advice, it would be to read up on the 'Tort of Negligence' - it is actually quite interesting, and to let your insurance company know that because tenants have access (legitimately or not) to the back garden, which they insure (I assume they do) it is their problem, and whilst you are happy to cooperate, it is up to them to reach a satisfactory conclusion.

It may also be a thought that if you still have this person as a tenant to tell them that, under the circumstances this may get nasty, and as such in the interest of impartiality it may be better if they look for alternative accommodation.

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