Ex tenant trying to sue me for personal injuries!

by Readers Question

9:58 AM, 6th April 2018
About 2 years ago

Ex tenant trying to sue me for personal injuries!

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Ex tenant trying to sue me for personal injuries!

In all the years I have done property I have never come across this. My ex tenant is now trying to sue me for personal injuries.

She reported a leak to the letting agent. I sent the plumber straight out as soon as she reported it and he found that the tap had a slight leak on it and did say that it had been leaking for a while. He then bought a new tap and fitted it (job done).

Now the tenant has decided to try to make herself and her son and her friend some money. She is now claiming that there was a puddle of water in the kitchen and she has slipped on it…… Wait it gets better, so the tenant slipped on the puddle of water at 12:30 (afternoon), then at 13:00 the tenants friend went into the kitchen and made a coffee and turned around and also slipped 30 minutes after the tenant. The next day the tenants son who is only 14 also slipped at 10:30 (at night).

The whole claim is obviously a scam to try to get money out of me. This all comes after I emailed the tenant to let her know how disgusted I was of the way she left the property, kitchen cupboard doors off left on the floor, internal doors with holes in walls with holes in every carpet black and ruined. The tenant also left wardrobes beds etc. The property was left in a terrible way all internal doors need replacing the kitchen needs refitting and new doors replaced etc. I won’t go on to much about how it was left but am sure you get the picture.

I emailed the tenant letting her know that I had the full inventory and pictures what she signed at the start of the tenancy to say the property was in good condition. After this she flipped and started saying she fell over after the kitchen tap was leaking and so did her friend and her son. Obviously the plumber who attended said this was absolute nonsense as the leak was only very slight and there was no water on the floor at all.

I have received a letter now from a solicitor informing me they they all want to put a claim in against me!! I seriously can’t believe a solicitor would take this case on!! The tenant treated the house terrible and I always done repairs when asked to do so.

I was just wondering if anyone else has experienced anything like this before ?

Steve



Comments

The Property Man

11:21 AM, 6th April 2018
About 2 years ago

Hi Martin or maybe them proving that it did happen ? I forgot to mention none of them attended hospital or a walk inn centre or even attended their doctors. It’s says none of them have been see by a medic !

Martin Crossley

11:50 AM, 6th April 2018
About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by The Property Man at 06/04/2018 - 11:21
In that case I very much doubt there is anything to worry about. They don’t seem like experts in false claims otherwise they’d have documented their “injuries”. If its pointed out to them the consequences of perusing a fraudulent claim that will probably be enough to stop them. Personally I think the police should be involved as they have already started the false claim which is a criminal offence.

Dennis Leverett

11:57 AM, 6th April 2018
About 2 years ago

I once had a woman slam on the brakes of her car for no reason and I gave the gentlest of bumps to her car causing no damage at all. She insisted on exchanging insurance or she would call the police even though no damage at all. We exchanged details and I had a witness to say she braked for no apparent reason. My insurance company sent out forms and I filled and sent off. Next I heard was they were going to pay her claim for whiplash of just under £2000.00. After a telephone conversation to insurance company they said it was not cost effective to dispute the claim, the person on the phone also told me she had two other claims on go with other insurers and one settled for similar amount all for whiplash. Apparently it would be impossible to prove fraud as the"accidents" did happen all with witnesses. The sting in the tail was that because it caused personal injury and was "my fault" it cost me 2 years no claims bonus which on a 7 Series BMW was not insignificant amount!!!! Such is life, so be careful what you do and good luck. It still winds me up today.

Mark Weedon

12:35 PM, 6th April 2018
About 2 years ago

We have received several of these claims for clients. I suspect it will be a growing issue going forward as no win no fee solicitors seek other ways to make an income. All you can do is make sure you have property owners liability insurance in place so your insurers will defend you. You should be particularly careful if you are a leaseholder for a flat to ensure you have cover in place.

Richard Jackson

14:35 PM, 6th April 2018
About 2 years ago

I had a similar issue with a bed that the tenant broke then tried to claim that he got a bad back from sleeping on it! He contacted a 'no win no fee' solicitor which meant I had to hire a solicitor too. The tenant did report the broken bed and I told the lettings agent to fix it, but they didn't so I am also going back to them too. The advice I got was to just pay them say £500 'to go away' which I refused. If this goes on, more and more tenants will try the same thing, so I will fight it even if it costs me more money. They also left the place in a terrible state and were a problem tenant from the start, always late with the rent and I had to issue notice to get them out.

Recardo Knights

15:24 PM, 6th April 2018
About 2 years ago

Is she sure the water on the floor was from a slight leak on a tap 3 or more feet away was it that, can she prove it? Not from her rough dish washing ( sounds like she doesn't do any) maybe it was from mopping or spilled tea etc.
Get rid of her asap, sorry also sound like you have to make good on all the damage caused as she sound potless, and some one else owes her a living.
I wouldn't worry ( but there are some clueless judges out there) but let us all know how it went and how long the eviction took. As it may be a revenge eviction you may have her for a while.

Owen O'Neill

16:20 PM, 6th April 2018
About 2 years ago

How long between the alleged incident and the T trying to start a claim ?
(not saying they have exceeded the time limit - but a court would ask why there was a delay)

....and on the plus side you now have an address for service for the property damage claim to make against her if the deposit doesn't cover the damages 🙂

wanda wang

21:37 PM, 6th April 2018
About 2 years ago

This remind me 4 years ago I had a bad tenants play gas leak game with me, read my article- My Section 8 eviction – All landlords be warned. I evicted them, and this woman sue me for £15K for the pain and suffer she had while living at my house rent free. cut story short, the case dismissed at the court. I got all my money back through Attachment of earning order. don't count too much on insurance company.

Ken Johns

8:39 AM, 7th April 2018
About 2 years ago

Hi Steve,
Yes it is obviously a scam, but beware the law is not always what it seems. My guess is she has gone straight to a 'no win - no fee' lawyer so will have paid nothing for her advice or the letter. The solicitor 'insures' his fees so is covered whether they win or loose. They will engage in a battle of letters and clarification and the chances are your Insurers will concede before it gets to court as its cheaper for them. They will receive a small payout of a couple of thousand each and the solicitors probably 10K each in fees.

I say this as I had a tenant who fell whilst walking in a flower bed of some flats own. (and yes I literally mean in the flower bed). The fact that he had no right to be there, common sense said he should not be there did not come into the equation. He claimed some 3 weeks after he fell over when he went to hospital with his bad hand and knee. (Was it injured afterwards, who knows, but 3 weeks is a long time to seek medical attention in my opinion).
However, he appointed a no win no fee lawyer and our insurers appointed a surveyor who produced a report that said we were not to blame in any way. The claim progressed with lots of correspondence including a request for the entry in our accident book so you can see the way these lawyers think. Despite this after some 2 years, our Insurers accepted the claim 'without liability' and paid 7K in compensation and £20K in legal fees. They openly admitted to me that there is a point where it is cheaper just to settle something than carry on with the litigation. As it happened, they did not even increase my premium because they did not consider me at fault.
As for the condition of the flat, totally separate issue and that will not be taken into consideration.
Do not communicate with the tenant over this or their solicitors, but just hand this over to your Insurers immediately.
It is not right that tenants can get away with this, but its the law and that is what we are governed by.

Lindsay Keith

11:49 AM, 7th April 2018
About 2 years ago

As a retired insurance defence based solicitor, the absolute essential is to refer the letter IMMEDIATELY to your liability insurer. DO NOT reply to the solicitor's letter you have received. The tenant is probably on a no win no fee retainer (unless able to cough up fees in advance?) and the solicitors may be expecting a meek response to 'save costs'. My old insurer clients would have told them to get stuffed.

As to the tenant's friend and the tenant's son falling, they ought to sue the tenant, good old Occupiers Liability Act etc.? Now, that would be fun?

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