Who pays for damaged door after police welfare call?

Who pays for damaged door after police welfare call?

9:34 AM, 8th April 2024, About 2 months ago 24

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Hi, I am a new landlord and the police carried out a welfare call at the property. The police would not share any details with myself.

When they forced entry the tenant was inside the property and the case was closed. There is now a damaged door which needs replacing. Do I pay for this or does the tenant pay? Am I right in thinking the police or the estate agent will not pay.

This is a fully managed let.

Please help!

Thank you,

Alison


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Comments

Harlequin

10:06 AM, 8th April 2024, About 2 months ago

My experience is that it is the landlord who pays.

Neil P

10:09 AM, 8th April 2024, About 2 months ago

I had a very similar issue and share your frustration. I had married tenants in a block of flats that went home to India for 3 weeks. A neighbour thought they may be dead inside as they hadn't seen them. Rather than use the block WhatsApp group so see if they were okay, they called the police who "let themselves in", smashing the frame and breaking the door literally in half. Not only did I have to pay for a new door, but the tenants were hounded by the company that secured the property after the entry (they were instructed by the police to make it safe). I felt naturally aggrieved with the neighbour and the police but ultimately had to foot the costs of the new door and the security company. Crazy.

Cider Drinker

10:11 AM, 8th April 2024, About 2 months ago

I’d expect to pay but I’d increase the rent accordingly as soon as it was legal to do so. £50 per month for two years should cover it.

Fed Up Landlord

10:16 AM, 8th April 2024, About 2 months ago

Powers under Section 17(i) (e) Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 - Entry to save life and limb and / or prevent serious damage to property. If carried out in good faith, and not as a result of getting the wrong address then landlord pays.

John

10:55 AM, 8th April 2024, About 2 months ago

In my experience the police pay but you need to challenge them. I can do my own building work so I always end up being cheap.

Eg. Tenant had moved out and the property was being redecorated. About a week after vacating the tenants family called the police to say she maybe in my house trying to kill herself.

I got a call 10pm and the police had broken the pvc door. No one was there.

I got a new door installed for £500. I liaised with their legal dept and said the cost would be £500 but the normal price to a retail customer would be nearer £1000. They were happy to pay my bill. I used the threat of small claims. Provide all evidence for repair and keep the cost low.

I had a metal gate cut by the police to get in round the back to arrest the next door neighbour on another property (drug dealers).

They paid my £100 cost to re weld the gate.

Harlequin

11:06 AM, 8th April 2024, About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by John at 08/04/2024 - 10:55
Depends, I had one incident where the police attended as they believed the tenant was in the flat and had taken drugs, broke down the door (could have had keys but decided breaking down door was easier), tenant in Italy. I made a complaint, appreciating that they had concerns and they paid for the door.
2nd incident was a tenant who was found to have taken an overdose, police came and again could have had keys - keyholder in the same building, but broke down the door, saved tenant, secured tenant's door with a padlock and left paperwork for me inside on how to access the key, left front door unsecured which was just madness, didn't contact me at all - key never seen again. Made complaint, officer rude, told me I had to fix the door, made an official complaint as the officers' (probably plural) actions were unbelievably poor and had an apology, of the sorry you are unhappy sort of thing. Key to padlock never seen again, I was initially told it was at the station and had been signed in, then told that it had been put in the tenant's bag at the hospital as the flat was hers and not mine, I had no right to a key - she did not have the key in her bag. Bottom line is it is landlord's responsibility but police dance to their own tune.

Chris @ Possession Friend

11:44 AM, 8th April 2024, About 2 months ago

Much depends on the circumstances and reasonableness of the Police concern for welfare.
If you write a letter before action to the Police service, they will be obliged to give some explanation for their grounds to force entry under Police and Criminal Evidence Act.

We have recently dealt with a similar case for a property owner.

Contact us if you want assistance.

Andrew Morris

11:55 AM, 8th April 2024, About 2 months ago

It’s happened to me a couple of times. Last time they broke 3 doors, two were in error, which they paid for. The correct one, I paid for but I could claim off the tenant, who ultimately caused the damage by being the reason the police broke it - although as you would expect, that was a waste of time and I got nothing.

Harlequin

12:00 PM, 8th April 2024, About 2 months ago

My first comment was an attempt to shorten this thread but as we see there is so much anecdotal evidence and it is a question that has been featured previously on this forum. The police act as they see fit at the time, we have no say, they will break down a door even when a key is offered, they will pay - or they will not pay - depends on the officer in charge at the time - I was refused a key because my tenant was ....the tenant .... and as a landlord I had according to this officer no right to have the key (bottom line was he'd lost it). Another apologised and arranged payment for the door - who knows, they do what they do.

Fed Up Landlord

12:42 PM, 8th April 2024, About 2 months ago

See it from the police perspective. Call comes in. Drug overdose or man hanging himself in garage. ( I have dealt with both several times in 30 years) Literally seconds matter. They don't have time to ring for keys, wait for keyholder etc. If they wait whose backside is on the line? The landlords? Who will sit in front of the coroner and say they waited half an hour or an hour for keys. Who will sit in front of the misconduct panel when they ask the same question? What do you say to the relatives when you could have saved someone and didn't.

For a landlord is it better to pay for a door or have a dead tenant?

I also dealt with literally hundreds of civil claims of this nature. If the police cocked up- wrong address etc- police paid. If wrong call by public with good intent- landlord paid or claimed off insurance or tenant. Police are protected by PACE Act 1984 and Section 3 Criminal Justice Act 1967.

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