PDA

View Full Version : Workman broke tenant's chair!



scottsiemers
22-11-2005, 18:02 PM
I am the owner of a flat where a plumber visited to fix a boiler. He sat in a chair owned by the tenant and broke it! It is a valuable chair and will be costly to fix or replace. The tenant's insurance does not cover this. Is there any financial risk to me as the landlord?? The plumber said that he is not liable for anything! I would welcome advise from anyone who is clear about the legal position of all parties in this situation. Thanks.

davidjohnbutton
22-11-2005, 21:37 PM
I would imagine that the tenant was under a duty as the owner of the chair to make sure it was safe for an average person to sit on and the only way any liability could impinge on either workman or landlord is if the workman used the chair in a way in which it is not supposed to be, for example standing on it.

The tenant should be thanking his lucky stars that the workman was not injured by the chair breaking.

lucid
22-11-2005, 21:44 PM
I dont think its as cut and dried as that, the workman is acting under the responsibilty of the the landlord and if he damages property of the tenant then the landlord would be responsible for repair/replacement or financial equivalent. etc

Energise
22-11-2005, 21:45 PM
He sat in a chair owned by the tenant and broke it!

£60 per hour and he wants to sit down :eek:

MrShed
22-11-2005, 22:19 PM
As he is working on your behalf, I would say that unfortunately it is your responsibility with regards to the tenant. However, I would also say that it is the plumbers liability with regards to you!

davidjohnbutton
23-11-2005, 00:01 AM
In order to be liable in this sort of example, the plumber would have to be shown to be negligent and unless he sat down in the chair in such a way as to expect it to break, or he was excessively overweight and the chair was obviously not strong enough to take a person of his proportion, I cannot see how the plumber can be liable in negligence!

On the other hand, if the plumber hurt himself when the chair presumably collapsed, then the tenant as the owner of the chair coud possibly be liable but it would have to be shown that he either knew the chair was unsafe or had reason to believe that it would not support the plumber's weight deduced from his size.

lucid
23-11-2005, 05:48 AM
IMHO All the above posts are correct so no point arguing. Just depends what actually happened thats all and more facts about the chair itself.

Yes was the plumber overweight?
Was the chair ornemental/decorative not for sitting on?
Who witnesssed the chairs demise and the possible injury to the said plumber?
Did he have permission to sit in the chair?
Was the tenant there when the event took place?
Will he be taking time off work (the plumber)?
Is there CCTV or photographic evidence?
What does the chair think of all the fuss?
:p

But seriously it does depend on what happened and no one here can really answer given the info posted, too many scenarios.

eg1

Plumber enters property in the day to fix boiler, a rather portly gentlemen, fond of beer and pies, and hes had rather a skinful the night before, poor chap so he's got a bit of a sore head. No one at home so lets have a look at this boiler then...quick use of the facilities to relinquish some bodily fluids first...oops missed..little stain on the carpet...no worries that'll be covered in the deposit. Rubs his chin, thinks its gonna cost ya...that part...£169...that hose and washer at least another £120 plus the labour...oh lunchtime cup a tea. Nothing in tenants fridge..students!!good job he has his butties. Might as well make himself comfortable and have a sit down (yes you've been waiting for this bit) ...whats that chair in the corner over there looks very old and antique..wonder what its like to sit in...oh oh and yes its buggered.

Well here I would say the landlord's gonna have to bite the bullet.

But if the tenant had been there and invited the plumber to sit down and enjoy his crest and cucumber sandwiches (crusts removed of course) in his great grandmothers antique edwardian chair, then thats another story..

But thats just my opinion really. But if there was only the plumber there at the time if it was me I'd cover the cost and be speaking to the plumber about his bill...;)

MrShed
23-11-2005, 06:10 AM
In order to be liable in this sort of example, the plumber would have to be shown to be negligent and unless he sat down in the chair in such a way as to expect it to break, or he was excessively overweight and the chair was obviously not strong enough to take a person of his proportion, I cannot see how the plumber can be liable in negligence!


I am not so sure DJB. I am not saying the plumber was negligent, this was obviously an accident. However, an accident is always caused by someone, and that someone should, at least partly, foot the bill! This may not stand up legally, but morally speaking I believe the plumber has a duty to pay for some of it.

RichieP
23-11-2005, 08:25 AM
This is all a bit like Vicki Pollard:

"Yeah but, no, but yeah, but she said it was OK if she sat on the chair, but I reckon it weren't safe, but yeah, but no, but Mr. Plumber was a right fatty but yeah, but no, but he said he can't pay because it ain't his fault, but she says it's my fault, but no, but yeah, but I said "I ain't paying" because it's your chair, but no, but yeah, but she said it's my fault because I'm the landlord, but I reckon the Mr Plumber should pay but he says it weren't his fault but yeah, but no, but.........."

http://jupiter.walagata.com/w/rickyslim/vicki.jpg

justaboutsane
23-11-2005, 08:56 AM
:p RichieP that is excellent! It just about sums up our society today. we live in a blame culture fuelled by ambulance chasers.

We don't have all the facts, if the chair was used by the plumber negligently then he should pay up. If he was told not to use the chair as it was fragile, again he should pay up. I don't see how the landlord can be held resposible for a broken chair. If it was an accident then so be it, move on, life is far to short to worry about a broken chair, family heirloom or not. Life is far more improtant that a bloody chair! So long as noone was hurt or maimed or killed lets get over it and move on!

Energise
23-11-2005, 09:48 AM
We can answer the actual question that was asked.

"Is there any financial risk to me as the landlord??"

Yes

there is a risk that you are responsible, but whether you actually are liable would depend on the facts.