Am I liable to pay insurance costs?

Grant Paris asks:
(updated on Tuesday, February 03rd 2009)

Hi, I recently rented a flat in which I had landlord approval to install a dishwasher. The fittings existed already so I chose to connect it myself, simply plugging it in and connecting the hose to the existing connection. Some months after, the fitting leaked causing damage which the landlord claimed insurance for. I subsequently moved on however recently received a bill from the insurance company for the damages. Am I liable for this?

Our Experts Answer:

Tenants are liable for damage they or their invited guests carelessly or intentionally cause. Landlords are responsible for maintaining the premises. If the leak and damage occurred because of a maintenance problem, then the landlord may be liable for the cost. However if the damage was caused because the dishwasher was not installed correctly, and you installed the dishwasher yourself, then you may be liable for the cost.

I suggest you speak to your landlord to see if they can tell you what caused the fitting to leak. The tradesperson who repaired the leak and damage may also be able to help you determine the cause of the leak. For more advice and information about when a tenant is responsible for damages, you can contact the Department of Building and Housing on 0800 TENANCY (0800 836 262).

The Department of Building and Housing provides information and guidance on building law and compliance, services including weathertight homes, and advice for tenants and landlords.



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