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about who should pay for breakage?

(105 Posts)
thefairyfellersmasterstroke Mon 13-Mar-17 19:27:56

It's teenagers...

DS (17) at a houseparty on Saturday with GF (also 17), at Friend1's house. Friends 1 & 2 are both 18. There was a bit of alcohol involved. DS and GF were in Friend1's bedroom (what they were or weren't doing is not the issue) and as the door apparently doesn't close properly, DS had propped a chair behind it. Friends 1 & 2 decided to invade the bedroom for a laugh, and started trying to push the door open. DS pushed back, but they pushed even harder. DS then put a couple of other things against the door to stop them, including a rolled-up rug. Lots of hysterical shoving back and forth until Friend2 decided to try to punch the door open, but when he did, his fist went right through it.

This seemed to sober them all up, and DS started hurriedly removing the things he'd put behind the door so they could assess the full damage. He propped the rug up again where he had found it , but when the door was opened the rug slipped sideways, knocking the TV over and cracking the top corner. It still works, but the display is badly lined. DS doesn't think he is 100% to blame, but said he will pay for a new TV, which Friend1 has said will cost £350.

DS had no intention of telling me or DH about all this, only he had a bit of trouble making the bank transfer to Friend1 and asked for help, which is how I found out. I would not let him make the payment straight away, as in my opinion there are a few other factors to consider first, such as whether the household insurance will cover accidental damage, whether it can be repaired rather than replaced, and whether DS should cover the full cost himself. He wants to, as he doesn't want his friend to be without his TV, and feels he's an adult and is doing the responsible thing but I dont think just handing over £350 without hesitation is the solution.

I don't want to teach him to shirk his responsibilities, but I also don't want him to automatically shoulder the burden of paying without it being clear how much that should be.

Friend1's mother was possibly away on holiday at the time (she definitely is now); her boyfriend may or may not have been present - DS didn't see either of them at all on the night this happened. No-one seems to be bothered about the hole in the door, just the TV. I collected the TV today and took it to a repair shop to get their opinion and estimate, which I'll receive tomorrow, but I'm not sure that DS should be paying for all of this himself.

AIBU, or should I just let my DS pay up for a new TV, and think he's done the grown-up thing? He thinks I'm being VERY unreasonable.

harderandharder2breathe Mon 13-Mar-17 19:31:26

Yanbu they were all messing around so should all share the cost (of repairing the door as well)

Wishiwasmoiradingle2017 Mon 13-Mar-17 19:31:47

The friend who's house it was should tell his parents that he had friends around and they should claim on their insurance - chance you take having a house party without home owner supervision. .

Looneytune253 Mon 13-Mar-17 19:32:41

He should defo pay and well done to him for taking this seriously. I would definitely​ recommend looking into repairs though​.

Bringmewineandcake Mon 13-Mar-17 19:33:03

I think you were right to stop the transfer and make other enquiries e.g. Repair, insurance etc. It sounds like they were all just messing about and an accident happened - your son was not negligent so is not legally responsible. Morally he has made a very gallant gesture, but I think a contribution to the repair / replacement cost would be more than fair.

Grilledaubergines Mon 13-Mar-17 19:35:23

But that means the friend's parents pay all the excess which doesn't seem fair.

I think all involved should share the cost. And it must have been a big TV incidentally because they cost peanuts these days.

cansu Mon 13-Mar-17 19:35:23

He definitely should pay for it. The other friend owes for the door, your ds owes for the TV. It is pretty obvious tbh. The whereabouts of the parents is pretty much irrelevant. It wasn't really an accident. He was pissing about and it led to something being broken. If it can be repaired then this would also be fair, but he needs to put it right.

Willyoujustbequiet Mon 13-Mar-17 19:41:13

Why the hell should the mother claim on her house insurance and be out of pocket?

He had no business messing around in the bedroom. He should pay up.

CookieLady Mon 13-Mar-17 19:43:07

He should get it repaired.

ArchNotImpudent Mon 13-Mar-17 19:43:16

Your DS and his two friends (and possibly his girlfriend if she was actively involved in the horseplay) should divide the cost amongst themselves. They were all messing about together. I don't think the parents should have to claim on their insurance - there'll be an excess and the premiums might rise on renewal (even assuming their cover includes accidental damage).

honeyroar Mon 13-Mar-17 19:43:18

I think he should replace the tv, I admire his morals, but you need to know make any type of the TV, you can easily find a cheap second hand replacement nowadays.

kali110 Mon 13-Mar-17 19:46:50

Why should they have to claim on the insurance?confused

TheWitTank Mon 13-Mar-17 19:49:00

He should pay for the TV, either as a replacement or a repair. They were fucking about, he chose to pick up the rug and then put it back by the wall in a way so it fell.
The puncher of the door should pay for the repair or replacement of the door.
All involved should apologise to the owners of the house for being bloody idiots and in the future respect others property and possessions.

RyanStartedTheFire Mon 13-Mar-17 19:49:50

YABU. Your son shouldn't have been barricading the door in someone else's house with someone else's belongings!

RyanStartedTheFire Mon 13-Mar-17 19:50:21

Agree that he should only pay for the TV though. Friend 2 should pay for the door.

kali110 Mon 13-Mar-17 19:50:32

RyanStartedTheFire yes!

thefairyfellersmasterstroke Mon 13-Mar-17 19:51:28

But that means the friend's parents pay all the excess which doesn't seem fair.

No, we'd pay or contribute to the excess so they weren't out of pocket at all. I'm not suggesting he pays nothing - I think that would horrify him. And it's not very big at all.

The whereabouts of the parents is pretty much irrelevant.

I felt it was relevant because although these teens are of adult age, they are pretty green about stuff like damage and responsibility and a mature adult on the spot may have dealt with it better than a group of schoolkids.

SummerHouse Mon 13-Mar-17 19:52:42

I think your son should pay. It was an accident but one clearly of his making. He propped up the rug that fell causing the TV to break. Would be nice if they all chipped in.

Allthewaves Mon 13-Mar-17 19:53:20

He should pay for the tv. He decided to move stuff around resulting in the tv being damaged. Friend who punched door should pay for that

cansu Mon 13-Mar-17 19:54:56

They are old enough to be without adult supervision. However immature you feel them to be I can't believe you are hiding behind the lack of parental supervision for a 17 year old! I assume you think they are adult enough to drive, drink alcohol, sleep with each other etc etc.

Ameliablue Mon 13-Mar-17 19:55:37

He's old enough to decide himself. I don't think it is unreasonable for him to pay. Insurance probably would help much due to excess.

LucklessMonster Mon 13-Mar-17 19:57:46

I think well done to your son, and it's a shame you're trying to stop him doing the right thing.

Friend 2 pays for the door, your son pays for the TV. And hopefully both of them learn a lesson.

TheWitTank Mon 13-Mar-17 20:00:00

If they are old enough to be shagging (clearly) at somebody else's house and barricading the door with other peoples possessions to facilitate this then they are old enough to pay for repairs or replacements of the things they break.

FrancisCrawford Mon 13-Mar-17 20:00:05

Your son effectively barricaded himself into a room in someone else's house and prevented the occupant of the room from gaining entry.

He placed a rolled-up rug in a position where it fell and damaged a tv.

And you think the householder should have to claim on their insurance?

Have you considered that if your DS had stayed downstairs at the party none of this would have happened?

He made some dumb choices that night but is facing this full on and wants to pay.

Well done him. He's learnt an important lesson and sounds like he has a very decent heart and a conscience.

viques Mon 13-Mar-17 20:00:09

Good for your son, he has faced up to his responsibilities, accepted them and realised that he has to make reparations, he has also learned that behaving in a reckless manner can have unforeseen repercussions. Valuable life lessons, well worth £350. Let him pay his friend the money, its doing the right thing.

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