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To expect a parent to pay for child's damage?!

(329 Posts)
MissB83 Sun 12-Jan-20 19:15:16

Context: I had a friend and her 2 year old for a play date this afternoon. Before either of us could stop her, her 2 year old grabbed my letter flap (inside) and forced it up, which snapped an internal mechanism so it no longer lies flush to the door sadmy friend tried to explain it away that she fiddles with the door and didn't immediately realise that her child had broken it. However the kicker is that the door is brand new; it was replaced about a month ago at a cost of nearly £900! It looks wrong now but worse is letting in a significant draught into an already cold house.

I think the part can probably be replaced as it screws on and on but obviously this will be at a cost. My friend has been back to thank me for the play date but not mentioned the door. I am flat broke so cannot pay for the repair anyway but I don't feel I should have to, but I want to go in on the right foot before annoying my friend. AIBU to expect her to pay?

MissB83 Sun 12-Jan-20 19:15:53

Sorry typo should have read *she fiddles with the door at her house

PurpleDaisies Sun 12-Jan-20 19:16:06

YANBU at all.

AlaskaElfForGin Sun 12-Jan-20 19:17:34

YANBU. She should have offered to pay when she realised it was damaged. Accidental or not, it's a given IMO.

MyDcAreMarvel Sun 12-Jan-20 19:18:00

The child is two it was an accident, just one of those things. If you paid £900 for a door your income can’t be that low.

KatherineJaneway Sun 12-Jan-20 19:18:39

She should pay but she won't.

WorldsOnFire Sun 12-Jan-20 19:19:06

YANBU but it’s gonna be an awkward conversation.

People are often reluctant to pay for their child’s damages as they don’t see it as ‘their fault’ apparently when kids damage something it’s just ‘an accident’ and should be classed as ‘one of those things’ rather than expecting repair/compensation.

MissB83 Sun 12-Jan-20 19:19:15

@MyDcAreMarvel if it were relevant (which it isn't), the money for the door was a family gift.

WorldsOnFire Sun 12-Jan-20 19:20:26


😂 cross post- but my point exactly ^this is what people think- just don’t want to take responsibility for their kids!

BernadetteRostankowskiWolowitz Sun 12-Jan-20 19:20:44

Yanbu to want her to at least care enough to offer. However Yabvu to choose a £900 door and leave yourself "flat broke".

Chihaha Sun 12-Jan-20 19:20:53


kingsassassin Sun 12-Jan-20 19:21:01

It's not going to be a new door though, really. You said in the op it is fixable so get the cost for the fixing and ask her to pay that.

AlaskaElfForGin Sun 12-Jan-20 19:21:21

The child is two it was an accident, just one of those things. If you paid £900 for a door your income can’t be that low.

@MyDcAreMarvel Eh? So if your child breaks something at a friends house, accidentally or not, you wouldn't offer to pay? My DS broke something in a friends house (accidentally) and of course I offered to pay. And, not that it makes a difference, but maybe the OP is skint because she's just paid £900 for a door.

MissB83 Sun 12-Jan-20 19:21:51

@Chihaha that's a good point I'll check my policy although I suspect annoyingly the repair will be cheaper than the excess

lunar1 Sun 12-Jan-20 19:22:28

Get a quote and let her know how much it will cost her. It wouldn't cross my mind to not pay for damage my child caused.

MissB83 Sun 12-Jan-20 19:22:41

@kingsassassin I had thought it would be obvious from the post but yes the cost would be the cost of replacing the part (possibly labour?) not the cost of a whole new door!!!

WillLokireturn Sun 12-Jan-20 19:22:45

I think you need to get a quote and text your friend.
I wouldn't think it'd cost that much despite the Cost of the door. If it was £20 I'd personally let it slide but if nearer £50 perfectly fine to ask for it.

Chihaha Sun 12-Jan-20 19:22:51

Possibly yes, but maybe worth seeing and speaking to pal after you know what will e cheaper? Dont know how you can broach it though.

KitKat1985 Sun 12-Jan-20 19:23:05

To be honest a new letter flap on a door shouldn't snap just because a child fiddled with it. They are supposed to lift up aren't they otherwise how would larger letters / small parcels get put through the letterbox? So in principle YANBU but I do wonder if the letterbox had an intrinsically weak mechanism on it?

ThatdamnMIL Sun 12-Jan-20 19:23:09

Can you claim off your house insurance?

Notnownotneverever Sun 12-Jan-20 19:23:13

I think you are being a bit tight. Just fix your own door. You have kids round, they break stuff. It happens. Long time if you charge people for items accidentally broken you will be that mum that nobody wants their children to visit in case it costs them.

WillLokireturn Sun 12-Jan-20 19:23:26

The key is that she knows her daughter does this and should have watched her.

Ffsnosexallowed Sun 12-Jan-20 19:24:06

A new letterbox is simple to fit and not very expensive. Certainly not something you're likely to want to use insurance for.

MissB83 Sun 12-Jan-20 19:24:53

@KitKat1985 she literally grabbed and pushed it up so it was right up against the door which a parcel wouldn't do I don't think, I guess on the inside flap it would just not go through the door if it is too big? This isn't the flap on the outside of the door.

CakeandCustard28 Sun 12-Jan-20 19:25:15

YABNU but you’ll probably loose your friend over it.

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