The conditions which govern damage to a rented property form the basis of today’s reader question.
He wants to know who is responsible for the maintenance of the property he is renting after a glass panel in a shower shattered without explanation.
He says the shower was not in use nor had it recently been used. The reader returned home to find the shower panel inexplicably lying in pieces on the floor.
After examining his lease agreement to determine who was responsible for the repair, he concluded it was unclear where the responsibility lay as he was unable to find any provision governing this situation.
See the reader’s question here.
As this issue only arose some time into the lease period, it appears it was not a defect that was apparent at the start of the lease.
Furthermore, it was not identified by the parties as such and it is difficult to speculate as to the cause.
However, it would appear likely that some intervention by the reader, a family member, a guest or even a boisterous animal could explain the broken panel.
In any event, a provision in the lease states that the lessee has the responsibility to care for and to maintain the premises in good order during the period of the tenancy.
The lease adds that at the termination of the arrangement, the property must be in good order and condition, fair wear and tear excepted, and that the lessee is responsible for any damage or breakages.
From this extract, it would appear that the reader is liable for the repair of the shower panel unless the circumstances are such, and can be proved, that he is not liable.
For example, a major structural defect in the building could have placed undue strain on the shower panel concerned, eventually leading to it shattering under the pressure.
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