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Water damage caused by washer - who pays? Repairs, Maintenance

Discussion in 'Living in, Use of the Premises' started by keenast, Feb 19, 2012.

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  1. keenast

    keenast Law Topic Starter New Member

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    A new renter used the washer inside the condo for the first time. She turns it on, then immediately leaves the condo to go shopping. The pump of the washer malfunctioned and flooded the condo plus produced water damage in the condo below.

    Who is responsible for the damages? Is it me as the owner or the renter because of negligence?

    To make matters worse, I'm a first time landlord and while in the process haven't yet signed up insurance. Any insight is very much appreciated.
     
  2. shrinkmaster

    shrinkmaster Well-Known Member

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    Its "your" washer? How are you applying negligence as all tenant did was go shopping?
     
  3. keenast

    keenast Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Yes, it is my washer. "Negligence" because I would never leave a washer unattended. Especially one I'm totally unfamiliar with.
     
  4. shrinkmaster

    shrinkmaster Well-Known Member

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    Ok but most people assume washers are in working condition and you may leave washer to do all sorts of things. I leave mine alone all the time including its firtst use! "Your washer" malfunctioned its up to you to repair damage caused to your building. You are not likely accountable for tenant belongings thats what renters insurance is for. You can sue tenant for your alledged negligence but I suspect you will not prevail. At this point you need to repair damage as well as replace washer if its part of rental agreement. Since laws vary by state it would be wise to seek a free consultation with an Attorney before taking any action
     
  5. keenast

    keenast Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thank you for your quick answer! The washer is already getting repaired.

    But aside, leaving a washer running, a gas stove cooking etc. while going out shopping (for hours) is something you might think twice about 'doing all the time' > you are asking for trouble and sooner or later you will get trouble ;-)
     
  6. shrinkmaster

    shrinkmaster Well-Known Member

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    Whether thats true or not (apples and oranges on oven vs washer) it was "your" washer that failed not tenant. People leave washers all the time.
     
  7. cbg

    cbg Super Moderator

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    I don't know what happened to the answer I posted earlier but I promise you that the law is not going to think that putting a load of laundry in the washer and then going out is "negligence". Maybe you have time to sit around the house and wait till all the laundry is done before doing anything else, but I work full time with a long commute - I get my necessary shopping and laundry and other errands done over the weekend. If I had to wait for the laundry to finish on the off chance that maybe the machine might fail, I'd never get anything done.

    Besides, you, not the renter, are responsible for keeping the machines in good repair. If anyone was negligent it was you.
     
  8. keenast

    keenast Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thanks everybody for chiming in. The law is what the law is and I'm fine with that.

    Do you think this paragraph I have in the lease contract makes any difference?

    8. Tenant has inspected the premises, furnishings and equipment and has found the same to be satisfactory. All plumbing, heating, and electrical are operative. In addition, the items listed in paragraph 19 are in satisfactory condition and as inventoried. TENANT AGREES THAT INVENTORY SHALL BE KEPT IN GOOD WORKING ORDER AT TENANT'S SOLE EXPENSE.

    Thank you again. Excuse me as maybe being a bit naive. It's the first time I'm renting out anything and it happened the very first day too. I'm in for a steep learning curve obviously.
     
  9. cbg

    cbg Super Moderator

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    No, that is not going to help you. The tenant had just moved in; how could she possibly have identified and had repaired a problem that was clearly there before she ever arrived?

    Sorry, pal, you are going to have to pony up for the damages. There is no friggin' way the law is going to make her responsible under the facts you have posted.
     
  10. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    Agreed. Tenant has zero liability here. Owner should have secured insurance before renting. Easy win for the tenant if sued.
     
  11. keenast

    keenast Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thank you everybody for chiming in. Getting insurance today !
     
  12. guestposter

    guestposter New Member

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    This is a most useful cotnirubtoin to the debate
     
  13. guestposter

    guestposter New Member

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    Pleasing you should think of smoehitng like that
     
  14. guestposter

    guestposter New Member

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    Thanks for sharing. Your post is a ufesul contribution.
     
  15. guestposter

    guestposter New Member

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    A perfect reply! Thanks for tiankg the trouble.
     

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