Who pays for accidental damage to rental property?

You might argue that the risk of damage is larger for landlords than for property owners since tenants come and leave more frequently, and they are often unknown people.

The trouble about accidents is that you never know when they'll happen or how much damage they'll inflict. But still, who is responsible for paying for repairs if you are renting a property? The answer to this question is contingent on the damaged object or area of the house.

What qualifies as accidental damage?

There's a big difference between wear and tear damage that can happen to a rental property and accidental damage. While a landlord is responsible for replacing stuff or repairing wear and tear damage, accidental damage is a bit more challenging to define. Accidental damage can be caused by a number of issues, including leaks from neighbours, damage caused by a neighbour's renovations, damage caused by repairmen, or damage due to crime or neglect.

Can tenants be liable for accidental damage?

If the damage was accidentally caused by the tenant or by guests of the tenant, then they're responsible for repairing or replacing the damaged goods. Regardless of who's at fault, it's the tenant's duty to notify you, as their landlord, as soon as possible. You can choose to make the repairs yourself, even if it was the tenant's fault, and deduct the cost from the initial deposit. At the end of the tenancy, the remaining amount will be returned to the tenant after the costs have been deducted.

Who will pay in case of accidental damage?

According to the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, the landlord is responsible for any accidental damage happening to the structure, windows, doors, roofs, and exterior parts of the building. This means you should pay for the damage, provided that it was not the tenant's fault. If the tenant is not behaving in a "tenant-like" manner, you are not liable for or compelled to repair any damage caused by the tenant's negligence. In essence, every tenant who is renting a property should treat it with respect by "virtue of his obligation," which means that any damage caused intentionally or via improper use of facilities must be compensated for by the renter.

If you're unsure, or have any further questions, please contact your Property Supervisor by emailing us at enquiries@seekersproperty.co.uk