Hi all, not and landlord but a tenant looking for advice from other landlords and the legal side of things.
I park on the property’s private garden/driveway on the side of the house. Today a stone fell from a high wall onto my car causing irreparable damage to my spoiler (i will need to buy a new spoiler) we have contacted the agent on where we stand with this as I don’t believe I am liable for a stone falling onto my car when it’s parked in the houses private garden/driveway. It would’ve been a completely different story if this stone had fallen onto someone’s head which could’ve happened as i was on my way out to wash my car! I don’t feel safe to be in the garden anymore in case more falls down as quite a bit of earth/cement came down with it and was scattered around the roof and boot of my car. We are awaiting a response but in the mean time I wanted some advice on where I stand with this issue?
You can claim the damage from your insurers, that’s what it is there for.
Regarding the wall, who does it belong to?
I’m trying to avoid going through my car insurance as I have £1000 excess and would end up paying for it anyway. Or did you mean the landlords can go though their house insurance? We assume the wall belongs to the house we rent as no one else has access to it.
I meant from your insurance. It’s normal for tenant’s to insure their belongings. The Landlords insurance covers what he provides on inventory and the property. It will not cover your belongings. Tenants have to insure their belongings.
The wall looks like a retaining wall. It may be the Landlord’s responsibility but it may belong to the public highway. It looks like you are on a lower level of land and there are houses above.
You need to find out whose wall that is.
As above, who owns the wall?
I’m not down on the tenancy but my partner is, I don’t know if that makes a difference. The people who live on the other side of the wall are saying it belongs to our landlord because of the history of our village. There used to be steps from the house above into our garden so people could access the lower part of the village. When the road was built the stairs were filled in.
The Landlord is not liable for your or someone else’s property.
Eg If a fridge I provided breaks down and food is damaged. The Landlord has to repair or replace for like the fridge. He does not have to cover the tenants financial loss if food is damaged or replace food. The food was not on the inventory. The fridge was.
I am not trying to dismiss what the villagers say but it is hearsay until proven otherwise. You will need to call the council to find out who it belongs to. You may even need to do a deed search. You cannot go on what a villager said. Once you have that information you can contact the appropriate person and ask them to deal with it.
I don’t think it matters that you’re not the tenant. If someone owns a wall and part of it falls on the property of a passer-by then the wall-owner would be liable because the presumption would have to be negligence, (ie the wall not properly maintained), rather than act of god. If he has landlord insurance, this should include public liability, so I would write to the landlord with evidence of what’s happened and ask how he wants to handle it. Step 2 would be to send a solicitors letter if it doesn’t respond.
But if the wall belongs to the landlord and it’s not properly maintained via negligence of the landlord then how can they not accept liability of damage to my property? I’m not dismissing what you’re saying but I would be devastated if I had to pay for repairs caused by someone else’s property that was in no way my fault at all.
Thank you for your reply. I cannot see a way at all how I would be liable for an unstable wall belonging to someone else causing damage to my property.
It’s not a cheap repair either, if it was I would just suck it up and pay for it myself but it’s £500+. Hopefully we will find out soon who owns the fall and be able to get some compensation from somewhere!
I just wanted some background advice from landlords/tenants before it went any further, thank you again.
Looks like a retaining wall .You have to find out who owns it. I would not be parking my car under it . It may belong to the people up top !
Yes it’s definitely a retaining wall. I’m hoping we will find out who owns it in the next few days. My car has 100% been moved since it happened as who knows if another one is going to fall!
Might be worth getting a council building inspector involved. I reported an unsafe wall once and they came right out. After a lot of rain retaining walls can slide.
Yes we are hoping to have someone out to look at it soon as quite a bit of earth came down with the stone. Feel really unsafe in the garden now
Good point about the building inspector.
Is there a timeframe that the landlord needs to get someone out to check the safety of the wall? It’s been over 2 days now and no arrangement for someone to look at it has been made. I thought it was a health and safety issue they would’ve treated it as something quite important?
The owner of the wall should carry liability for damage to/loss suffered by third parties as a result of its poor or hazardous condition. They will have an insurable interest to cover and hopefully a policy for it - usually landlords are responsible for maintaining premises’ structures where let. Property insurance policies very often carry third-party/public liability clauses defining terms and limits of indemnity. If there’s no policy, that shouldn’t alter the locus of responsibility, but might make it trickier to obtain compensation … good luck!