View Full Version : Wind damaged window: landlord or tenant responsible?
31-01-2008, 19:01 PM
hey just wondered what the other esteemed members opinions are on this one...
window in house is safety window therefore opens all the way in order to facilitate escape in case of fire. tenant opens window on very windy day to let air in and goes and has a shower. Upon returning to room finds window has blown all the way open and cant close it. due to force of window the window was blown wide open very quickly and thus has damaged the hinges.
Tenant says its fault of window and therefore L responsible. We and L say its her fault for opening window in high winds and not taking due care and consideration with it.
windows are about 2 yrs old btw.
I would probably blame the tenant.
01-02-2008, 06:18 AM
Not sure, yes as tenant opened the window it high winds its her fault.. BUT what would have happened if there were no gales and a freak gust blew the window open???
Just a thought guys!!!
01-02-2008, 07:40 AM
I don't think it's a simple as saying "T should not have opened window in high winds". The fact is that windows should be built to withstand windy weather --- if they aren't, they're clearly not up to standard, and T can't be blamed for that.
The only exception might be if T has been specifically told that windows should not be opened on windy days, and opens them anyway. But even then, you will run into difficulties regarding the definition of "windy". If it was gusts of 100mph, that's probably windy by anyone's definition, but it probably wasn't --- if it was gusts of 50, 60, 70 mph, that's still "windy", but is it windy enough not to open the windows? I'm not sure.
Another point. Suppose it wasn't actually that windy when T opened the window, but a freak gust caused the damage? T can't possibly be expected to predict the future wind strength.
I don't think your argument that T did not use "due care and consideration" is really valid. It would be, if T had been deliberately negligent, but I don't think T was. The fact is that windows are meant to open, and if they're not strong enough to avoid being damaged by the wind, T can't be expected to know that.
I think if you deduct cost from T's deposit and it ends up in court, the judge would probably find in T's favour. After all, it wasn't T that caused the damage, it was the wind!
I'd suggest negotiating with T. Perhaps 50/50 might be acceptable to them. But I would be very wary of being too assertive about it because frankly to me your case looks flimsy.
As an aside, we also have safety windows in our upstairs. We left the window open the night before last when we had gusts of 70mph. The window was fine. So I don't think you can assume that T should have known that high winds would damage the window.
01-02-2008, 08:20 AM
Speak to the window company. It should be strong enough to windstand strong winds otherwise it is not fit for purpose. Or it should have had a warning on it.
I would first demand they fix it and if you kick up a fuss they may. It may be easyer than going back and forth to the T & l/l
We had the safetly windows in one of our houses. I am sure they just don't move to the safetly position. I am sure you have to turn something.
01-02-2008, 11:42 AM
I agree with Peter - I also dont think you can pin this on the tenant, but definitely follow johnboys advise - window companies that we use all have 5 year guarantees for moving parts/mechanisms.
01-02-2008, 11:50 AM
Some windows have just an internal lock but no limiter on angle of opening; others have a sort of limiter with peg-holes into one of which a fixed peg slots.
Sorry- I'm sure that there are technical words with which I could have explained this better!
02-02-2008, 01:41 AM
it is accidental... so what can you say? It is part of the business. You can send a warning letter and write it off as a guesture of goodwill.
And make sure it does not happen again....
Tenant might just say claim it on your insurance! (but that will probablly drive next years premiums up...)
02-02-2008, 07:57 AM
thanks for your comments guys. We have of course spoke to the landlord and he is adamant on his position. The tenant did say to us that she left the window open on purpose as it was windy and she wanted to air the house....
I am trying the 50/50 approach but its not looking good when no-one is backing down =- hey ho happy saturday!
02-02-2008, 08:53 AM
I think that if the window hasn't got some form of physical restriction on it to prevent it blowing open like this, it's a bit unfair to blame the tenant. If there had been something fitted, and the tenant over-rode it, then of course the ensuing damage would be down to the tenant.
You can definitely buy little stays for this job - it's a building regs thing apart from anything else because if you fit a window below a certain height, it must have a restrictor on to prevent people opening it wide enough to fall out; however the corollary is that it must still be possible to open such a window quickly and easily to allow emergency exit in the event of a fire.
Actually I've got a similar rather dodgy window in a property myself - dodgy in the sense that a previous owner fitted a uPVC replacement which has a much larger (and heavier) opening pane than recommended, and its hinges have got strained: if it gets any worse the window won't close and I know I'll have to replace it. Meanwhile, I simply have a £2 door security chain on it, which allows it to be opened far enough for ventilation but can still be opened fully in an emergency. 4 years on - I know one day some tenant will probably still manage to knacker it, but if and when they do I'll bite the bullet and cough up!
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