Liability of brick falling onto Neighbour

by Readers Question

10:00 AM, 8th February 2015
About 4 years ago

Liability of brick falling onto Neighbour

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Liability of brick falling onto Neighbour

My tenant has advised me that his neighbour came around to say that a tile has fallen from my house and damaged the neighbours shed. Liability of brick falling onto Neighbour

Please can someone clarify whose liability and what the best course of action would be.

I live in London, my property is in Wales

What shall I do?

Am I liable?

Many thanks

Mr Smith



Comments

Joe Bloggs

12:21 PM, 9th February 2015
About 4 years ago

if you have been negligent, i.e. not periodically inspecting/maintaining the roof then you are liable. i would say if you can demonstrate that you have been responsible and for instance this was due to high winds then you are not legally responsible. the distance between you and the rental is irrelevant.

r01

12:26 PM, 9th February 2015
About 4 years ago

If a tile genuinely fell off your roof and damaged anything (or anyone) and if you own the property of course it is your liability, you should be insured as part of your property buildings insurance for exactly this sort of event. It may well be the recent high winds that caused it.

Don't mess about. If it was genuinely a tile from your property that fell, get in touch with the neighbour immediately and tell them how sorry you are and ask what the damage is and what the cost to put it right will be. If it is too much for you to pay out personally for then put in an insurance claim but do so quickly as insurers expect you to notify them immediately of any potential claim and could refuse to pay out later if you failed to do so. By the sounds of it you have had a lucky escape as it could so easily have fallen on the neighbours children or pets and then you would have a real problem.

Remember that any claim may increase your premium and you will have an excess to pay, so consider this when deciding whether to pay up personally or to make a claim. You might find the neighbour is happy to do the repair himself but make sure any money you give him is receipted with a full and final settlement letter so he can't come back later with other costs if he thinks you are a soft touch.

Now, also remember a tile has fallen from your roof so you need to address this immediately to avoid water damage to your own and the tenants home so it needs fixing pronto and while a roofer is up there get him to give you his opinion of the state of the roof in general as you may need to do more than replace just one tile and insurers require a property to be properly maintained or your insurance could be invalidated should another tile fall and injure someone which is not worth the risk, so get whatever work needs doing done and get a receipt to prove it just in case.

Living in London while the property is in Wales is irrelevant. If the property is managed by an agent get them to sort it out, if not get on the phone and sort it yourself with a local property repair co. Personally, I'd jump in my car and go there to make sure this is genuine and not some sort of scam. If you trust your tenant you could ask him or her to contact local companies and get quotes for you.

R

Seething Landlord

13:18 PM, 9th February 2015
About 4 years ago

Being pro active may seem a good idea but speak to your insurers first. They may not share the view that you are liable for the damage and in any event will probably want to handle the claim themselves. Admitting liability without their consent may invalidate your liability cover as you will be in breach of your policy conditions. There is unlikely to be an excess applicable to the liability section of your policy but whether or not you intend to make a claim you should notify them of the incident - failure to do so could cause problems with any future claim.

Ian Cognito

15:06 PM, 9th February 2015
About 4 years ago

It is difficult to give sensible advice without knowing all the facts.

How old is the property?
What state of repair is it in, especially the roof?
When did you last visit the property?
Is there any history of problems or disagreements between you, your tenant and your/his neighbour?

If I were in your shoes, I would first want to speak to the neighbour. If he sounds reasonable, then tell him that you want to get things sorted quickly and ask for him to help by taking a few photos of:

a) The roof from where the tile fell (if not visible, then a general photo showing the building and roof)
b) The offending tile
c) The damage to the shed

Assuming his claim is genuine, he should have no problem with this.

I would also ask him to confirm when he noticed the damage and whether the tile may have been blown off by recent high winds.

Then you can decide on what needs doing regarding repair to both the roof and the shed.

AA Properties Wales

21:11 PM, 9th February 2015
About 4 years ago

Hi Mr Smith, what part of Wales is the property in? There hasn't been winds up here for at least a month

Freda Blogs

22:01 PM, 9th February 2015
About 4 years ago

I'm with r01. It's your liability. You should have occupiers liability insurance on your buildings insurance policy.

Colin Dartnell

8:46 AM, 10th February 2015
About 4 years ago

Insurance companies have a database of weather conditions they follow if there are wind damage claims.

Chris Brown

17:48 PM, 14th February 2015
About 4 years ago

What about a chimney pot, possible weakened by the intrusion of a stainless flue cap & its securing banding?


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