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Broken washing machine - who's liable?(5 Posts)
We purchased a new washer dryer last year for a top floor flat we rent out. It is just under two years old and out of the 12 months warranty period.
The leak has caused fairly significant damage to the two flats below ours. The appliance engineer I contacted said the part is notorious for going on this brand of machines and that a repair would be expensive and not worth it for a £350ish machine. He did say that although out of the warranty we should be covered for a replacement/refund under the 'fit for purpose act' and that 5 years would be a reasonable time to expect such a machine with normal usage to last.
I contacted Beko who have said they aren't liable as out of the 12 month warranty and they have directed me to the retailer as they said my financial contract is with them, Currys.
I have found a template on the Which website which I may send to them. But I would be grateful for any advice on what I should, if anything, be entitled too.
The other aspect of the problem is that there is apparently quite a bit of damage (water staining, loss of electric to a spotlight, water marked curtains which need dry cleaning etc) to the two flats below. If I have understood advice I have read on Money Saving Expert I'm not actually liable for that cost due to the damage being accidental, machine is new-ish and was professionally installed etc. I.e. I have done what I can to prevent having a risky machine. I do accept that there is also a goodwill side to this so am trying to balance up how to proceed, what to offer to cover etc.
Would there be any liability to the retailer or manufacturer for the cost of the damage to the property or would it just be for the machine itself?
I'm going to post this in Property too for traffic.
Manufacturer would be liable for all damage if it is proven to be faulty. You need to remind Beko, in writing, of the law, and a warranty isn't really worth anything.
In the interim, the residents contents insurance should cover damage to the other flats under occupier liability cover. The insurer can then choose to pursue Beko. To be honest, Beko are rubbish when it comes to faulty goods. The only two items of theirs I have owned both broke within two years with the same fault. I would never buy one of their products again as their customer service with thee matters is shocking.
Manufacturer would be liable for all damage if it is proven to be faulty
Not necessarily. Your main rights are against the seller, not the manufacturer. However, the manufacturer is liable if:
- the claim is for more than £275
- the item causing the damage was unsafe
- the damage wasn't done to something owned by a business
If the above conditions are not met it would be necessary to prove that the manufacturer was negligent.
You need to make a claim on your landlords insurance for the damage to your own property and the other flats. Your insurance should also have legal cover so you should ask them to deal with any claim you may have against the machine manufacturer.
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