I think my tenants removal company knocked my garden wall down

by Readers Question

17:56 PM, 19th February 2013
About 6 years ago

I think my tenants removal company knocked my garden wall down

Make Text Bigger
I think my tenants removal company knocked my garden wall down

I think my tenants removal company knocked my garden wall downLandlord Ian Holmes would like to know what you would do in this situation. Ian said ….

“In the last two days of a tenancy, the garden wall was knocked down.

I suspect this was done by the tenant’s removal company.

Does anyone know if I can retain some of the tenant’s deposit for this incident?

The tenancy commenced before the deposit protection service started.”

Some landlords would take the view that if the tenant has been there since before 2007 the landlord should just let this go.

On the other hand though, why should Ian be out of pocket, he didn’t knock the wall down.

But then again, if he can’t prove who did ……

What do you think Ian should do?



Comments

19:50 PM, 19th February 2013
About 6 years ago

1. Is the wall insured for a claim by L to Insurer? This must be forst ask? That is why you pay premiums.

2. If L must proceed on his own for redress, as a bog standard start, Mr Holmes needs to gather FACTS. Such as when? We know where. How? What sort of wall, solid brick or stone structure or flimsy? Who by - what connects the tenant to the remover? Assumption, evidence? Assumption not good enough unless the Sherlock Holmes test shows no other probability. Big evidential hurdle.

3 Courts want balance of probability. Saying tenant last resident not enough.

4 Sorry to be discouraging but if the remover broke the wall, how does that affect the tenant? Is he responsible for the remover's act? Is the remover an agent or (as the tenant WILL say) independent contractor - T says I told R to move my things, he is the expert, that is my contract with him.

5 Value? At the end of it all, T or claim worth powder & shot?

6 Is deposit enough? Any claim under £5K (small claim limit) no costs to winner if he wins what seems on the face of it a potential genuine dispute so really cannot say T beoing 'unreasonable' so as to attract a penalty.

Mary Edbrooke

20:04 PM, 19th February 2013
About 6 years ago

This happened to me too. I noticed a Car port was badly damaged a day after a tenant moved out Since there were no witnesses all I could do was claim on the insurance.

Roy B

9:12 AM, 20th February 2013
About 6 years ago

Have you asked the tennant what happened? If it was their removal firm the firm is liable and that insurance should pay

Doreen Marr

19:04 PM, 20th February 2013
About 6 years ago

Stay calm and approach this sensibly and logically.
First call the tenant and ask him/her if they are aware the wall has fallen down.
If they say no, then explain the wall has fallen over..... and that you will now begin to make enquiries with the surrounding neighbours to check if they saw anything happen to make the wall fall down. If you are successful in finding any evidence then ask the person would they support their statement if you made a small claims against the tenant/driver depends on the evidence. If they agree to standby their sightings then speak again to tenant and advise them that you now have a witnesses as to what happened and that they are prepared to give you a statemetnt when you report the accident to the police and could they now please advise who the driver/contractor of the vehicle was together with telephone number etc. The driver has or should have vehicle insurance whether contractor or not. In fact they should have reported the accident to the police. You can then claim against the driver for the wall. I would also report it to the police, then proceed to claim off the drivers insurance. I would also advise the tenant that you will be withholding his deposit until you have further evidence. They may not like that, and you may have to return all of it, but the actual threat for most tenants/people will have them coming forth with acurrate information. If they were the tenants from hell, then that will be another story....... and you may have to forget the whole thing. If they have been good tenants it should be no more than a phone call.

If you cannot find any evidence then you can try it on with the tenants to see what happens, ie pretend you have evidence (you don't need to give them the facts) let them sweat that one! It's all just a game...... It might make then come forward with the information, it it does not, say you'll have the wall costed for rebuild and let them know in due course what the cost for rebuild is. At the end saying it will be deducted from their deposit. See what their reaction is.
If there is no reaction - then proceed to do just that, .... have it costed.
If they kick off and say no....... etc , ask them why, ..... why should you not deduct the cost for rebuilding the wall. Check just how much they know before backing down.
In the end, if they are tenants from hell and are going to give you a very hard time............give them their deposit and claim off insurance because it really is not worth the hassle or the worry.
But don't back down at the first hurdle, dig a little deeper see what you can find out.
Good Luck.

17:12 PM, 29th March 2013
About 6 years ago

That is an incredibly difficult situation Ian. I know removal companies tend to carry insurance that covers their clients goods but surely damaging property client or not is a crime.

Perhaps with holding deposit from your clients and making them chase up the insurance from the removals people is your best bet.

Best of luck

5:55 AM, 9th May 2013
About 6 years ago

Well, i don't think so that removal company can be that much careless..


Leave Comments

Please Log-In OR Become a member to reply to comments or subscribe to new comment notifications.

Forgotten your password?

OR

BECOME A MEMBER

Patrick Collinson has got it wrong yet again!

The Landlords Union

Become a Member, it's FREE

Our mission is to facilitate the sharing of best practice amongst UK landlords, tenants and letting agents

Learn More