A Year in Review


Hi Team,

I have had a client who is renting a property. A pot was dropped on the ceramic stove top leading to a chip. This has now grown into a crack and the landlord would like the top replaced.

The landlord requires either $700 to cover the excess, or a full replacement by the tenants.

Is the tenant (our client) able to claim using the 'damage to other property liability clause' under their contents policy? 

This would enable the tenant to pay a lower excess of $250 rather than the $700 posed by the landlord.

Thank you.

Anon replies...

For a claim to be payable under the liability section the tenant must be legally liable for the damage.

The tenancy tribunal has ruled that tenants cannot be held liable for accidental damage.

The tenant can be held liable where they have been careless but recovery is limited to a maximum of the landlord’s insurance excess, or four weeks of rent (whichever is less). The test for careless acts is a little murky but generally careless damage is caused through lack of attention or concern for the consequences.

This event appears to be accidental in nature.

March 2024

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