Property damage claims usually involve disputes over the condition a tenant has left a property in.
Normally the tenancy has provision to allow a landlord to claim against a tenant for any property damage that the tenant causes during the period they are in occupation. In addition to this, you should also have prepared an ingoing inventory documenting the condition the property was in when the tenancy commenced. It is also advisable to carry out an outgoing inventory on the day the tenant leaves the property. The inventory is a crucial piece of evidence when claiming for damage to a property as this documents the condition the property was in at the start and end of the tenancy.
However, it is not always the fault of the tenant and the landlord needs to make sure that where bringing such a claim against a tenant, the landlord has not in fact breached any of its own obligations under the tenancy. Under Section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 a landlord has implied repair duties. A landlord needs to be aware of these as failure to comply with these could result in a claim being brought by a tenant.
These types of claims can be lengthy. Getting off on the right foot will help move a claim along swiftly and cost effectively. When considering a claim for damage to property the questions to ask are as follows:
- Who is at fault? Namely, do you have evidence to prove the tenant caused the damage?
- Does this case fall within the Housing Disrepair protocol? If so, make sure the protocol is followed.
- What is the cost of putting right the damage? A Judge will want to know how much you are claiming for.
A claim for damage to property can be a complicated and time consuming matter. We can help with a dedicated specialist approach to a very common property related dispute.