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giddy

Liability For Damage

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Hello,

i wonder if anyone can give me some advice here.

Last week i slipped and fell in the bathtub while taking shower, had a few bruises and cuts on the shin and knee, and broke the bathtub as a result (because i landed in the bathtub on my knee). i've since informed my landlord via the managing agent and was told the following:

"The bath will have to be replaced with a 'like for like' bath, to the best of our ability, but unfortunately as the tenant, the liability for the cost of replacement lies with you."

i then did a quick research on how much it will cost roughly, and to my dismay it's gonna cost a bomb to get the tub repair as it may entail tiling works (basically can cost more than a grand, which is twice my deposit!)

Would appreciate if anyone can advise the following:

1. If i'm responsible for the full repair cost, even when my injury and the damage could have been prevented should the bathtub be of "better quality" (for my frail frame of 70kg my colleagues were amazed how fragile the tub was upon hearing my mishap).

2. Do i have the right to choose the contractor for the repair work? The managing agent has their contractor, but say if i can find one who is cheaper, can i actually request for that?

3. Is this kind of repair covered in the building insurance?

Any advise is much appreciated, consider the current economy climate...

Many thanks!

Edited by giddy

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I'd start looking for a good claims lawyer and if they claim for the bath, I'd claim for injuries. It sounds like the bath was not fit for use as a shower (the point load from someone standing/falling in the bath is very different to the distributed load when filled with water) and if they provided a shower with it, then there is a failing on their part. Sue the landlord, not the agent.

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I'd start looking for a good claims lawyer and if they claim for the bath, I'd claim for injuries. It sounds like the bath was not fit for use as a shower (the point load from someone standing/falling in the bath is very different to the distributed load when filled with water) and if they provided a shower with it, then there is a failing on their part. Sue the landlord, not the agent.

Just to say if you are going the above route ring around some local solicitors and ask people you know for recommendations. Find a solicitor that you like and that you trust. Some firms advertise "no win no fee" on TV but these are big national firms and you would regret going with them, you just dont get the personal attention. Most local solicitors will also do "no win no fee" but cannot afford the advertising costs of getting their message across. It is always easier dealing with a solicitor if you can speak to them in person.

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I'd start looking for a good claims lawyer and if they claim for the bath, I'd claim for injuries. It sounds like the bath was not fit for use as a shower (the point load from someone standing/falling in the bath is very different to the distributed load when filled with water) and if they provided a shower with it, then there is a failing on their part. Sue the landlord, not the agent.

Sorry, let me get this right in my head. Someone has slipped in a bath tub, not a wet floor in a supermarket, not on un-even paving on the high street, but a WET BATH TUB, and you are suggesting they should claim?

In terms of 'the point load from someone standing/falling in the bath is very different to the distributed load when filled with water', I for one stand up when getting in and out of a bath, would you like to enlighten us as to the way you get into a bath (and depending on your attractivness, you could supply photos of said action :P ).

All that was required was one of the rubber, non-slip mats. Please claim, I would love to read the article in the newspaper!!!

Another example of ambulance chasing Britain!

Edited by Planner

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Hello,

i wonder if anyone can give me some advice here.

Last week i slipped and fell in the bathtub while taking shower, had a few bruises and cuts on the shin and knee, and broke the bathtub as a result (because i landed in the bathtub on my knee). i've since informed my landlord via the managing agent and was told the following:

"The bath will have to be replaced with a 'like for like' bath, to the best of our ability, but unfortunately as the tenant, the liability for the cost of replacement lies with you."

i then did a quick research on how much it will cost roughly, and to my dismay it's gonna cost a bomb to get the tub repair as it may entail tiling works (basically can cost more than a grand, which is twice my deposit!)

Would appreciate if anyone can advise the following:

1. If i'm responsible for the full repair cost, even when my injury and the damage could have been prevented should the bathtub be of "better quality" (for my frail frame of 70kg my colleagues were amazed how fragile the tub was upon hearing my mishap).

2. Do i have the right to choose the contractor for the repair work? The managing agent has their contractor, but say if i can find one who is cheaper, can i actually request for that?

3. Is this kind of repair covered in the building insurance?

Any advise is much appreciated, consider the current economy climate...

Many thanks!

Another thought, do you have accidental damage cover with your contents insurance? If so it is worth a ring to see whether the repairs to the bath would be covered under it.

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Buildings Insurance (I think) is a gem. I knocked a heavy bottle of bubble bath into our bath, which cracked the floor. The adjuster came out and said "Right, that's a new bathroom." They replaced the bath, but had to replace the toilet and sink as well. As this affected the wall, we got the wall retiled, and the floor done.

A whole new bathroom because of a little chip in the bath - BRILLIANT!

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Cheers for the replies so far.

By suggesting a claim for injuries does this mean it's understood that the liability is on the tenant on damage, regardless the cause?

To be honest if there is an alternate route (eg. insurance but i'm not too sure about this...) i would love to settle this in an amiable way.

Does anyone have experience / knowledge on question 2 and 3 mentioned in the original post?

Many thanks.

Edited by giddy

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Sorry, let me get this right in my head. Someone has slipped in a bath tub, not a wet floor in a supermarket, not on un-even paving on the high street, but a WET BATH TUB, and you are suggesting they should claim?

In terms of 'the point load from someone standing/falling in the bath is very different to the distributed load when filled with water', I for one stand up when getting in and out of a bath, would you like to enlighten us as to the way you get into a bath (and depending on your attractivness, you could supply photos of said action :P ).

All that was required was one of the rubber, non-slip mats. Please claim, I would love to read the article in the newspaper!!!

Another example of ambulance chasing Britain!

Agreed Planner. I almost fell over in my bath the other week, so popped down to Wilko and got a bath mat for £4.

But the insurance route is certainly better than legal action. Accidential damage cover should pay for it.

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Sorry, let me get this right in my head. Someone has slipped in a bath tub, not a wet floor in a supermarket, not on un-even paving on the high street, but a WET BATH TUB, and you are suggesting they should claim?

In terms of 'the point load from someone standing/falling in the bath is very different to the distributed load when filled with water', I for one stand up when getting in and out of a bath, would you like to enlighten us as to the way you get into a bath (and depending on your attractivness, you could supply photos of said action :P ).

All that was required was one of the rubber, non-slip mats. Please claim, I would love to read the article in the newspaper!!!

Another example of ambulance chasing Britain!

Read my post carefully, if I was in the OP's position, I would try and get the landlord to pay for the replacement of his defective bath. Only if he tries to claim off the tenant would I claim for damages against the landlord.

As for the compensation culture, I am fully in favour of it if it means people start realising their responsibility to not hurt other people.

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Read my post carefully, if I was in the OP's position, I would try and get the landlord to pay for the replacement of his defective bath. Only if he tries to claim off the tenant would I claim for damages against the landlord.

As for the compensation culture, I am fully in favour of it if it means people start realising their responsibility to not hurt other people.

Why do we believe the bath is defective?

On what grounds would you claim for slipping in a wet bath?

Edited by Planner

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I should make myself clear, the talk of sueing was to build a position to negotiate from. If you are going to be charge the best part of a thousand pounds to replace the landlord's bath, you may as well get yourself into a position where you can negotiate rather than just sit back and pay up. Maybe go for a 50-50 split on the costs of the bath or some such arrangement.

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The starting point is Section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 which requires a landlord:

to keep in repair and proper working order the installations in the dwelling-house for the supply of water, gas and electricity and for sanitation (including basins, sinks, baths and sanitary conveniences, but not other fixtures, fittings and appliances for making use of the supply of water, gas or electricity)

In what circumstances would a tenant not be able to enforce the obligation? The obvious one is if the tenant intentionally damaged the bath or did something so reckless that it would be unreasonable for the landlord to bear the expense. Where the damage was accidental, however, I think the tenant is entitled to ask the landlord to rely on his insurance - that is after all what the insurance is for. The tenant has no insurable interest in the bath since, as a matter of law, he has no obligation to repair it. (It would not be covered by contents insurance as a bath is a fixture and therefore part of the property.)

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It broke.

Under what circumstances did it break though?

- A 70kg person, thats 11 stone, fell (persumably from a standing position) on to their knee. So thats 11 stone of weight dropped onto a relativly small area (the knee). I think it would be dificult to argue, as you seem to be implying, that the bath simply broke because it was defective/not fit for purpose. It has broken because a 11 stone object (sorry to call you an object o/p) has been dropped onto it.

In terms of s.11. The landlord has offerd to replace the bath. Therefore his obligations under s.11 have been fulfilled.

S.11 then goes onto say that the property should be used in a tenant like manner. This therefore entitles the landlord after repair/replacement of the bath to recover the costs from the tenant should he consider that the tenant has some responsiblity in the damage casued. I think that the landlord/his solicitor could put a reasonable argument together that the tenant should have taken more care in using the bath i.e. a rubber mat.

If the tenant refuses, then the amount will probably be contested from the deposit through the relevant scheme at the end of the tenancy. While not necessarily responsible for coughing up the full cost of the replacement, I consider the tenant is responsible, accident or not, for a good portion of the cost of the replacement.

Edited by Planner

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I think the pragmatic way to look at this is to ask: if the OP owned the property and it was insured under a policy identical to that held by the landlord, would she be entitled to claim on her insurance? If the answer to that is "yes", then the landlord should be able to claim on his insurance. If the landlord can claim on his insurance he should get on and claim.

Edited by Damocles

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I think the pragmatic way to look at this is to ask: if the OP owned the property and it was insured under a policy identical to that held by the landlord, would she be entitled to claim on her insurance? If the answer to that is "yes", then the landlord should be able to claim on his insurance. If the landlord can claim on his insurance he should get on and claim.

Yes, and the O/P, as owner in your scenario, would then pay the policy excess and, potentially, an increase in premiums. So I assume your pragmatic view would also include charging the tenant the policy excess and any increase in preium for the next policy?

Of course we are making the assumption that the landlord has insurance.

Edited by Planner

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i've asked about the insurance but the agent has yet to get back to me.

Planner thanks for your posts. You seem to know quite a bit and deemed, in this case, the tenant's liable for the (accidental) damage. Just curious, if you were in my shoes what would you do to get this resolved?

(i presumed you wouldnt just sit back and pay up whatever the cost, right?)

Cheers.

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Cant really see why replcing a bath means retiling? As a landlord I would pay around £75 for a steel bath, perhaps £100 with side panel. £120 for a days labour, cant really see why this would cost much more than £200. If your agent is paying 1K for this he is ripping someone off!

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i've asked about the insurance but the agent has yet to get back to me.

Planner thanks for your posts. You seem to know quite a bit and deemed, in this case, the tenant's liable for the (accidental) damage. Just curious, if you were in my shoes what would you do to get this resolved?

(i presumed you wouldnt just sit back and pay up whatever the cost, right?)

Cheers.

To be honest I havent decided if I think your liable or not!

What you have been told about s.11 and that its the landlords responsibility to repair is 100% accurate, however as I have aluded to, the section goes onto say that you are responsible for using the property in a tenant like manner. Everyone accepts its an accident (for god sake by a none slip mat!), but how to proceed if the landlord wont use his insurance and tries to force you to pay?

First of all, how do you fell about it? do you think you should pay something or not? If you dont, then all you can do is refuse and let the TDS arbitration scheme (I assume your deposit is protected) sorth the matter out at the end of the tenancy, thats what your deposit is for after all, damage to the property. Of course a irate landlord could serve you notice to leave if you take this option. I think the scheme arbitration wont make you pay for the full replacement, but would expect ypu to pay a rerasonablw wack of it, thats just my opinnion by the way!

If you think you should pay something, then offer the excess and to cover any increase in premiums (maybe a fixed sum?) that your LL might have to pay? or how would you feel about offering 50% of the costs?

Either way I dont think you are going to get off without coughing up something,

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To be honest I havent decided if I think your liable or not!

What you have been told about s.11 and that its the landlords responsibility to repair is 100% accurate, however as I have aluded to, the section goes onto say that you are responsible for using the property in a tenant like manner. Everyone accepts its an accident (for god sake by a none slip mat!), but how to proceed if the landlord wont use his insurance and tries to force you to pay?

First of all, how do you fell about it? do you think you should pay something or not? If you dont, then all you can do is refuse and let the TDS arbitration scheme (I assume your deposit is protected) sorth the matter out at the end of the tenancy, thats what your deposit is for after all, damage to the property. Of course a irate landlord could serve you notice to leave if you take this option. I think the scheme arbitration wont make you pay for the full replacement, but would expect ypu to pay a rerasonablw wack of it, thats just my opinnion by the way!

If you think you should pay something, then offer the excess and to cover any increase in premiums (maybe a fixed sum?) that your LL might have to pay? or how would you feel about offering 50% of the costs?

Either way I dont think you are going to get off without coughing up something,

Unless you speak to your contents insurer. I have accidental damage included with mine and when one of my kids rode into a parked car with their bike the insurance paid for everything, there wasnt even an excess. Worth a try.

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Just to update on the situation.

The agent has got back to me with good news. This is covered by buildings insurance because the bathtub is classed as a fixture. All i need to do is to fill up the part on the claim form explaining how and when it happened...

They'll be coming over for inspection tomorrow, hopefully everything will go smoothly.

Thanks for all your suggestions and contributions. :)

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  • 284 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

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      • down 5% +
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      • Even
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      • up 5%



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