Water damage from baby sock?

Water damage from baby sock?

9:05 AM, 9th November 2020, About 10 months ago 34

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Due to a tenant’s baby sock being stuck in the filter, the washing machine didn’t empty, and the kitchen got flooded which also caused water damage to the flat below.

The tenant denies responsibility saying where in the AST does it say he is responsible for cleaning the washing machine filter? Or adding salt to the dishwasher or cleaning the cooker extractor fans/change carbon filters for that matter. And he’s right – there’s no mention of this responsibility in the AST

Can a clause be added to all new ASTs to say that tenants are responsible for limited ongoing maintenance of white goods along the lines of the above?

This will prolong appliance lives and avoid unnecessary breakdowns and repairs. This has happened before and was just accepted as ‘one of those things’ but tenants surely have to accept some responsibility here. Does anyone have some sample wording that can be inserted?

Any and all suggestions gratefully received.

Jonathan



Comments

by Jonathan

16:23 PM, 9th November 2020, About 10 months ago

When the engineer came, he said that if the gap between the drum and the housing is large enough then it's not impossible for a sock to get caught in the edge and pushed towards the drain. He says he's seen this often and always suggests that small clothing items are put into a string bag which still allows them to be washed thoroughly but makes them large enough not to get through the gap into the filter. So now I know .

Based on all your comments, I've drafted an extra clause to go into the AST agreement to cover checking the filter every 6 months and also, clean the bottom of the dishwasher tray where the water drains away as this will often become full of food waste if plates aren’t rinsed first. Don't know if it will do any good but at least it might focus attention on being a responsible tenant

by Chris Bradley

17:03 PM, 9th November 2020, About 10 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Chris @ Possession Friend at 09/11/2020 - 15:07
Some landlord policies specifically exclude damage caused by intent or negligence of tenant.

by Ian Cognito

17:07 PM, 9th November 2020, About 10 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Jonathan at 09/11/2020 - 16:23
If a sock gets into the filter 25 weeks after it was last checked, then checking the filter every 6 months should work...

by David Price

17:09 PM, 9th November 2020, About 10 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Jonathan at 09/11/2020 - 16:23
"responsible tenant"

Almost the dictionary definition of an Oxymoron.

by Ian Narbeth

17:15 PM, 9th November 2020, About 10 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Chris @ Possession Friend at 09/11/2020 - 15:16
If the damage is to the flat below then very little. It is the neighbour who has the problem. They don't have a good claim against the OP as it wasn't his responsibility.

by Ian Narbeth

17:22 PM, 9th November 2020, About 10 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Jonathan at 09/11/2020 - 16:23
Hi Jonathan
It's up to you but I wouldn't bother with an express clause in the revised AST. Once you start on this, where do you stop adding clauses? I would rely on the implied duty to act in a tenant-like manner. Paradoxically, if you start listing a number of do's and don't's the tenant may have an argument that only those items that are included (look up expressio unius, exclusio alterius) are required so you end up worse off.

by Yvonne Francis

18:46 PM, 9th November 2020, About 10 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Chris @ Possession Friend at 09/11/2020 - 15:07
Yes, I'm sure most tenants do not insure, my point is they are able to, so its their hard luck if the don't, and the Landlord can make a claim. Tenants don't only have claims by landlords but by insurance companies if the Landlord makes a claim on his own insurance, and find the tenants are to blame.

About year ago I had the most difficult experience when one of my guarantors, a well know barrister, started to get concerned that if his daughter (my tenant) had an accident and burnt the house down, claims could be made against him from my own insurers. It was actually confirmed by my insurers, and I even tried to get insurance for them, but that's impossible. He attempted to get a million pound cover for himself, and insist on the rest of the group getting the same which actually they were eager to do. Of course he failed. One could get cover for a few thousand but no more. He looked at case histories, and based on one, he decided, as long as I specified I insured my properties it may help his case but certainly not let him off the hook, fully realising Landlord's insurance is Landlords insurance for his benefit alone, and I can't even be forced to claim. It was all very interesting and just all too complicated for me to fully grasp. His daughter is in my property now.

My tenants do by the way nearly always insure their own possessions and if they don't that is not by business. Surly you mean insurance of the Landlords property in your comment?

by Jireh Homes

19:40 PM, 9th November 2020, About 10 months ago

Had a similar situation where washer was not draining, traced to sock in filter. In this case I as LL picked up the bill as good will gesture to an appreciative TT, but in our area the call out cost was circa £45 so not a huge expense. But did learn how to work on a washer full of water without spilling all over floor so now wiser should a similar fault appear in future.

Similar situation with flood from flat above, claimed due to "accidental" leak from washer which ended up as an expensive claim on my insurance which cost me in terms of excess and future premiums. But downside of having a portfolio of flats.

Unfortunately in our area fully furnished is the norm for flats so no option not to supply white goods etc.

by Neil P

10:49 AM, 10th November 2020, About 10 months ago

I use mudhut.com for my tenancies - it's a free service and all parties sign digitally so great for these Covis times. There's a clause in there which says:

"To keep all electrical appliances and apparatus in good working order and to pay for the repair or replacement of any such item which has been misused or damaged during the term."

by DSR

14:08 PM, 10th November 2020, About 10 months ago

Reply to the comment left by David Price at 09/11/2020 - 10:53
ditto. Make it completely unfurnished = zero LL liability.


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