Am I responsible for damage to an entry gate at my apartment complex caused by a friend that tried to visit when I was not home?

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Am I responsible for damage to an entry gate at my apartment complex caused by a friend that tried to visit when I was not home?

I was absent when he tried to call from the entry gate. I did not answer or ring him in so he rushed the gate behind another vehicle and it hit his vehicle causing $4500 damage. He then proceeded to my apartment. This was all filmed so they are holding me responsible as they maintain he was my guest. Our lease states I am responsible for damage caused by guests. He has no insurance so they are billing me. If I was there with control over my guest of course I would be responsible but would I not have had to be there and/or have given him access to the grounds for him to be a guest?

Asked on January 10, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Washington


Glenn M. Lyon, Esq. / MacGregor Lyon, LLC.

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If the lease states that you are responsible for the acts of your guests, and your friend was visiting you, then yes.

If you would like to discuss any issues further, please feel free to contact my office.  The link to my contact information is below.  Thank you.

The foregoing is general information only, not specific legal advice. No attorney/client relation has been created or should be implied

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You did not cause the damages to the entry gate or contributed directly to the damages caused, you legally have no liability or responsibility to pay any amount for the damages. Just because your friend caused the damages when you were not at home does not make you responsible for the damages caused by your friend under the eyes of the law.

I would write the apartment complex a letter setting forth your position of no responsibility keeping a copy of the letter for future need and reference. Most likely the apartment complex has insurance for what happened to make the repairs.

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