Window smashed in burglary – who pays?

by Readers Question

4 years ago

Window smashed in burglary – who pays?

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Window smashed in burglary – who pays?

Window smashed in burglary - who pays?My son and his family moved into their rented house last week.

This morning they were burgled; access gained by smashing a large window in the conservatory.

My son does not want to tell his landlord (and see if his insurance will cover the cost of a new window) as he has just started a 6 month initial tenancy, and does not want to be seen as a bad tenant.

I have told him that he must tell his landlord, and how could it be deemed as his fault when he is the victim?

Thanks

Elaine



Comments

Mark Alexander

4 years ago

Hi Elaine

Your son is perfectly entitled to make this the landlords problem but I doubt very much that it will warrant an insurance given that the cost of replacing the window is likely to be less than the policy excess. I certainly wouldn't make a claim on my insurance on this basis.

Having said that I can also see where your son is coming from and completely understand his reluctance to potentially sour the relationship with his landlord so early on. I was once a tenant and if something like this had happened to me at that time I would have thought in much the same way as your son is doing now.

Now that I am a landlord, I would be horrified to hear that one of my tenants had been burgled just one week after moving in. I would be worried that they would be wanting to vacate and I would might also worry why the property has never been broken into before but has been now. Being a landlord tends to make us cynical because not all tenants are honest. Some have drugs which attracts trouble, some do daft things such as leaving expensive goods on show, sometimes tenants blame others for breaking things when in reality it's just an insurance scam to get new furniture to set up a house. I haven't personally experienced all of these issues but I know landlords who have.

So there it is, various sides of the thought process but I suggest that only your son can make the ultimate decision as to whether to inform his landlord or to pay for the damage himself and hope the burglar is caught and ordered to make restitution.
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Elaine Cuzner

4 years ago

Thank you Mark. Apparently this is one of many burglaries this summer; houses with `hidden` side passages being targeted.

N S

4 years ago

As a landlord I would expect the tenant to let me know and for me to pay for it - I assume there is a police report etc so if I did decide to make an insurance claim I could (I think you usually need a police no - I could be wrong?). I'd definitely give the tenant the benefit of the doubt in the first instance - although I might just ask my property manager to let me know if it sounded suspect at all - but given I've just approved the tenant on the grounds of references etc I wouldn't start off a week later jumping to the conclusion that they're dodgy!

Even though I sigh sometimes - I'm actually quite pleased when tenants report problems because it means that they care about the property and it's upkeep.

Ian Narbeth

4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mark Alexander" at "01/09/2014 - 11:16":

I think he should tell the landlord. This is because even if no insurance claim is made, it is a material matter that ought to be notified to the insurers. (Yes, it may mean that the premium will go up but that is the landlord's problem.) Failure to notify may invalidate the landlord's insurance. The tenancy may contain covenants about notifying the landlord if there is damage to the property and also about not doing or omitting to do anything that might invalidate the policy.

Mark Alexander

4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Ian Narbeth" at "01/09/2014 - 15:50":

Good points Ian, I'd not thought of that.
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matchmade

4 years ago

Unfortunately this window needs to be fixed asap and an assessment made of how security can be improved: statistics show that once a property has been burgled once, it is highly likely to be hit again.

The landlord is responsible for providing safe and secure premises for your son, and that includes ensuring the physical integrity of the building. So if a tree falls down, or the kids next door play over-enthusiastic football, or a burglar breaks the window, the landlord is obliged to fix it.

Your son may be nervous of informing the landlord, but the vast majority of landlords would far rather be told, not just to improve the situation for your son but also because they definitely don't want a burglar (and potential arsonist) roaming round their property! I suggest a sensible conversation should quickly be steered away from shock and any tendency to find someone to blame, to focus on mitigation measures. Is there scope for a security light operated by a movement sensor? Could the side passage be fitted with a lockable door?

Elaine Cuzner

4 years ago

Thank you all so much.; I shall be passing all this onto my son. The police came round immediately along with an officer who dusted for prints. I believe they damaged a side gate to get round the back and smashed the window on the side which does not have a house next door! Security lights seem a good option which my son could take up with his landlord (who he hadn't actually met!). I noticed that next door had lights outside.

Mark Alexander

4 years ago

Just found these and I'm going to have them fitted to my home >>> http://goo.gl/nq8qDc
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Rob Crawford

4 years ago

I think Tony is spot on. The landlord must be informed so that security issues and associated risks can be addressed to prevent/deter future occurrences. The police will normally advise on what security measures should be considered. Beware of security companies who will generally scare you and sell you as much as they can!


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