Can my landlord’s insurance company charge me for a claim that a houseowner made?

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Can my landlord’s insurance company charge me for a claim that a houseowner made?

I was renting a house and my son had an mental brake dow. He got mad and buredn the kitchen. The wall had some holesin it and the house had smoke damage. The ownerput in a fire xlaim with his insurer. The insurance paid to have the damage fixed. However the owner used the claim money for other things and did not fix the damage. The insurance company is now charging me for house the damage.What should I do?

Asked on July 2, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Florida

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your situation and for your son.  What I think happened here is that the insurance company paid out the funds for the damages that were caused and are now subrogating the claim against you.  That means that the landlord gave them the right to sue you directly for the damages that were caused by you.  It really has nothing at all to do with the fact that the landlord failed to fix the damages - or at least I think that it does not - but he did have the obligation to fix the damages with the money he got.  I would seek some help from an attorney in this matter if you have been sued.  Good luck to you.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

First, it does not matter *what* the landlord used the money for. If he used it improperly in some fashion, that's between him and the insurer; it does not alter your obligations.

A tenant who damages landlord property, or whose family members or guests damage landlord property, is liable for the damage--he or she has to pay. Similarly, whether in a rental context or not, parents are generally responsible for the damage done by minor children.

When an insurer pays out a claim, they are entitled to seek reimbursement or compensation from any responsible for the damage. If they paid out on damage done by the son of a tenant, they may sue the tenant/child's parent for the amount they had to pay out.


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