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Broken washing machine - liability?

(11 Posts)
SunnyUpNorth Tue 24-Oct-17 21:01:24

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've posted this in legal too.

magpiemay Tue 24-Oct-17 21:11:15

All of the damage (aside from any applicable excess) should be covered by the buildings insurance. You may be asked to pay for the excess- which would be considered reasonable. Do you have a managing agent?

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Tue 24-Oct-17 21:19:19

You are absolutely liable for the damage to the flats below. Accidentally or not their property was damaged because of your machine.

Depending on the level of damage and excesses you could claim on your insurance policy or you could pay up.

As for the machine you need to educate yourself. It's the Consumer Rights Act 2015 and you are claiming that the machine sold has a fault that makes it not fit for purpose. If you can find examples of other people with the fault online and establish it is a known fault that could be the basis for your claim to the retailer under CRA and also for a small claims action to recover your costs.

Regardless you are completely liable for the costs to the flats below now and you need to pay up with good grace and then try to reclaim your costs from the manufacturer and the retailer.

SunnyUpNorth Tue 24-Oct-17 21:38:55

Thanks magpie, I didn't know if the buildings insurance would cover it? I thought that was more things like faults with the structure etc? That would be great if it is as could just deal with them.

We manage it ourselves.

washingmachinefastwash Tue 24-Oct-17 22:24:41

If your buildings insurance is through a factor then you won’t be covered as they only cover the pipes leading up to your front door.

Contents insurance will not cover fixtures like sinks, baths or radiators, etc.

Lazy2Hazy Tue 24-Oct-17 22:32:29

Presumably your flat and flat below are covered under one freeholders buildings policy? The policy will respond to repair damage to your floor if any, flat below ceilings and electrics net of excess

venys Tue 24-Oct-17 22:36:44

I reckon buildings insurance would cover if you have an escape of water Clause. Only one way to find out ,??

kirinm Tue 24-Oct-17 22:39:28

Report it to your insurer to get the damage repaired. Once repaired, insurers may appoint solicitors to recover their outlay from true manufacturer.

SunnyUpNorth Tue 24-Oct-17 22:46:18

Yes, one policy for the building.
What is a 'factor'?

I will call up the insurer tomorrow. Had a scan through the policy but can't see anything either way.

Thanks.

johnd2 Wed 25-Oct-17 08:53:37

Your building insurance may not cover it, but your contents insurance should have"occupiers liability" cover which would cover for any costs to others due to you living there. This should cover it.

magpiemay Wed 25-Oct-17 10:01:59

You’ll need to check your policy - if you contribute towards the insurance you are entitled to a copy of the policy and to make a claim- if it’s reasonable- if it’s going to cost similar to the excess then it wouldn’t be reasonable as it may increase the premium in future.

Most leases will include an obligation to have adequate and reasonable cover which should include accidental damage.

Any repairs would be your responsibility but damage caused is likely to be covered.

First things first get a copy of the insurance to see what is covered and what excesses you have. Speak to whoever places it about making a claim. Get some quotes for the repairs.

Good luck!

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