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Direct
07-10-2011, 09:46 AM
I have just heard from my tenant that an upstairs window has broken and that it may have been caused by the wind. The tenant is hoping that it comes under insurance. However I only insure for major disasters. Such a claim would be pointless because of the policy excess and may cause my premiums to increase.

The AST agreement requires the tenant to replace any windows broken by the Tenants or their guests.

If the cause were difficult to prove, do experienced landlords and agents have a way of dealing with this easily? Could Landlord and tenant share the cost?

jjlandlord
07-10-2011, 09:55 AM
The AST agreement requires the tenant to replace any windows broken by the Tenants or their guests.

As landlord you have a statutory obligation to carry out this kind of repair.
Of course if T is responsible for the damage then he's also liable for the cost of repairs.

ram
07-10-2011, 10:04 AM
If the cause were difficult to prove, do experienced landlords and agents have a way of dealing with this easily?

Assuming you can trust the tenant to be telling the truth, maybe by inspecting,
then as the window belongs to the owner of the house, then the owner is
responsible for replacing the window, either by out of his own pocket, or if
any insurance policy may pay out, on behalf of the owner.

What would you do where you live now ? it's your responsibilty as the owner
of that window, if broken by high winds, to replace it.

All you can do is replace the window that belongs to you, your tenant is not
responsible for "Acts of God", as many insurnace policies used to state for
not paying out.

R.a.M.

Direct
07-10-2011, 10:49 AM
All you can do is replace the window that belongs to you, your tenant is not
responsible for "Acts of God", as many insurnace policies used to state for
not paying out.

R.a.M.

I am just a bit concerned that if wind took the window then surely it must have been left off the catch. Who would be responsible for that?

ram
07-10-2011, 11:34 AM
I am just a bit concerned that if wind took the window then surely it must have been left off the catch. Who would be responsible for that?

it is up to you to find the truth.

If window was closed, and the wind broke it, then it's your responsibity.
If window was left open by tenant, then it is debateable.

Windows are brittle, and we all know that it does not take much to smash one.

a) The tenant could argue that if you supply a window that when closed, and
breaks in the wind, then it is not fit for purpose.

b) The tenant could argue that if you supply a window, which when left open,
and a gust of wind comes along, and the stay is incapable of securing the
window, and the catch rattles off the peg, is that too unfit for purpose ?

c) The tenant was in the charge of the window, and if it was very widy,
and he left it on the catch, he should have known that to leave it in
that condition, is not reccomended, and if those conditions were met,
the tenant should have had more sense, and he should probably pay.

d) If there was no wind at all at the time of the a window being open, the
tenant would have no reason to shut the window, and if then wind gets up,
and breaks window, then that is an unfortunate, unforseeable accident.
( "An act of God", which only your conscience can decide who pays )

Some of us have seen our windows rattle off the peg, and fortunately,
the glass did not brake when it slammed against the wall in the wind.

Yes, a tenant must take "reasonable" care of your property.
If your tenant says the window was closed, and broke in high winds,
( that IS a possibility ) then either you trust hime, and pay for window to
be replaced yourself, or you tell him he is a liar, and fight over the costs,
but refer to ( b ). But also you could put it down to it was an unforseen
accident ( d ) , but if conditions of ( c ) were met, it's the tenants responsibity.

But these things happen.
You make a decision on the facts.

Welcome to the world of business, and you thought it was just straight forward !

R.a.M.

Direct
07-10-2011, 11:50 AM
it is up to you to find the truth.


c) The tenant was in the charge of the window, and if it was very widy,
and he left it on the catch, he should have known that to leave it in
that condition, is not reccomended, and if those conditions were met,
the tenant should have had more sense, and he should probably pay.


R.a.M.


Actually it was very windy last night but the tenant said hedidn't see it happen. The window was alright before. Is it reasonable to assume that it was left off the catch but show goodwill by going halves on the repair?

jjlandlord
07-10-2011, 11:51 AM
As per post #2, we should distinguish responsibility for repairs and liability for costs.

Here in any case landlord has responsibility for repairs, so T can just lay back and demand that the window be repaired.
But if LL can show that T caused the damage, then T would be liable for the costs.

Direct
07-10-2011, 11:57 AM
As per post #2, we should distinguish responsibility for repairs and liability for costs.

Here in any case landlord has responsibility for repairs, so T can just lay back and demand that the window be repaired.
But if LL can show that T caused the damage, then T would be liable for the costs.

Thanks for this. It is a bit worrying if technically all the burden of proof lies with the landlord, when things like this are almost impossible to prove absolutely. I suspect that in practice, custom and practice must sit alongside legal formalities, otherwise day to day life would be impractical.

boletus
07-10-2011, 12:04 PM
I have just heard from my tenant that an upstairs window has broken and that it may have been caused by the wind. The tenant is hoping that it comes under insurance. However I only insure for major disasters. Such a claim would be pointless because of the policy excess and may cause my premiums to increase.

The AST agreement requires the tenant to replace any windows broken by the Tenants or their guests.

If the cause were difficult to prove, do experienced landlords and agents have a way of dealing with this easily? Could Landlord and tenant share the cost?

What kind of window is it?

If it's a single pane held in with rotting putty and frame then get it fixed straight away. Cost about £50 depending on etc.

If it's a well fitted upvc double glazed then your tenant is probably trying it on.
Go round to inspect. Ask your tenant directly "did you break this by accident?"
Depending on response and tenant, either pay full, half or not all. Remind them of your agreement.
I've just had a quote for a replacement UPVC double glazed upstairs window. Nearly £100 fitted.