What should I do if my landlord’s fence fell on my car and damaged it?

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What should I do if my landlord’s fence fell on my car and damaged it?

A 6 ft section of my landlord’s wooden fence fell on my car during storm. A worker of his called him immediately while I was there. He ignored me and hid from me for a week before I finally cornered him to at least come next door and look at my car. I have lots of pictures of the fence laying on my car. The idiot said he would have it buffed out and I haven’t heard from him since (its been 2 months). He never had any intention of coming over to check the damage of my car, nor to fix it. He now put a sign on the fence that says, “Park at your own risk”. Like nothing ever happened.

Asked on July 5, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Connecticut

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Your landlord, unfortunately, may not be legally liable, or responsible to pay. Person A--including a landlord--is not automatically responsible for person B's loss, simply because B's loss occured on A's land or even due to some of A's property. Instead, there must be fault--that is, A must have done something wrong. If the fence was badly built or maintained, rotten, falling down, leaning, etc. and the landlord knew or reasonably should have known that, they would likely suffice to make the landlord liable. But if it was a well-built and -maintained fence that simply succumbed, without warning, to a heavy storm, there is no fault, and therefore the landlord is probably not liable; he did nothing wrong.


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