Who's fault is this? Tenants washing machine leak

We rented our property without a washing machine - since the property is so small. In fact, we said clearly in the viewings there was no washing machine.

Without telling us, the tenant bought a collapsible portable washing machine (I didn’t even know they were a thing!) and he set it up on the bathroom floor. (Instead of putting it in the shower, which would have been more sensible in case of leaks)

This week, the washing machine leaked and caused damage to the flat below. It will need the ceiling repainting etc.

To me, this seems like negligence on the part of the tenant and therefore he should be liable for the cost of the repairs. But I imagine there is a legal loophole somewhere that means he wouldn’t be.

Anyone got any ideas who should pay?

tenant pays . its their machine not yours


I agree. At this stage I wouldn’t even get involved. If the flat below asks, you tell them this is between them and the tenant.


Can I ask did you state in the ad that there was nowhere to have a washing machine plumbed in or just say there is no washing machine? I wouldn’t expect a washing machine to come with a property personally as I know providing white goods can be expensive on behalf of a landlord, but if I was told there was no where to plumb in a washing machine then I’d either not want the property or look to see how close a laundrette was. So if you advised in the ad or to your tenant there was no where to plumb one in then if I was you I’d look up this collapsible washing machine and study the instructions of use and if it states that it should be placed on a platform such as a shower or bath for example and your tenant has not followed these instructions then yes they are responsible. If however they did follow the instructions then it could come under accidental damage so you could either claim on insurance or request the tenant to pay towards the costs. Unfortunately accidents happen and nobody is at fault hence why we have insurance.

An examle of common sense<<< The flat did not come with a car provided ,if the tenant bought a car and reversed it into the neighbours wall. the landlord would not foot the bill. the tenants fault , he/ she pays to repair the damage…


I get your point but to use your example the tenant would claim on his car insurance or the neighbour could request their insurance company to handle the claim and believe it or not I know a neighbour that this happened to only difference was the tenant in the house opposite did not apply the hand break and rolled out of the drive into my neighbours wall and her insurance company dealt with everything with the cars insurer. A flood or a leak can happen at any point be it from a pipe, tap or washing machine and it’s rarely disputed or refused a payout by insurance companies as if it’s not repaired it can have far reaching affects on the building itself.

so the next year the landlords insurance goes up because of a claim over something he had no control over ? thats not fair… If a leak from a plumbing pipe supplied by the landlord ,he pays. An appliance from the tenant then he pays , In fact the tenant should at least have contents insurance. You go your way ,I will go mine.

I agree. Tenants pay it.

I rent flats and the way they were designed there
are no space for washing machine but we have Communal
laundry rooms on each floor and people have to pay for it.
When I advertise I clearly say it and also during viewing I show the laundry room and tell them they are responsible for paying it.

Please note that when property is rented without washing machine and no space for it.

When it’s tenants fault then they should pay for the damage.

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Does your tenancy agreement not state the tenant to have contents insurance?

Thanks all for the advice.

I didn’t state in the advert there was no washing machine. Just made it clear during viewings that there wasn’t space.

Someone also mentioned about keeping out of it, but unfortunately I am also the landlord of the damaged flat below so I have a responsibility to help arrange repairs in there.

I have spoken to the tenant and explained that since it was his washing machine, and his negligence to some extent (should’ve put the washing machine in the shower basin rather than the floor), he needs to cover the costs of repairs. He seems willing at this stage, so we’ll see how it goes.
Thankyou all for helping me to see different point of views here


Tenant’s fault. It’s their property not what you provided. Like if he had a dog that tore up the neighbor’s door or something- not your fault.

Hopefully the tenant has renters insurance that would cover it.

As long as the tenant is happy to cover it this shouldn’t be an issue.

I would consider seeking legal advice just because you own both properties. A one hour consultation with someone experienced in tenancy law ought to do the trick. I wouldn’t want to run afoul of some loophole where you didn’t word it perfectly.

It’s good to have under your belt as well, when you own connecting properties there’s a risk of one tenant damaging the other property. It’s worth an hour to make sure you handle it the right way. :slight_smile: