What are our rights regarding property damage caused by a storage pod rented by the previous property owner?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What are our rights regarding property damage caused by a storage pod rented by the previous property owner?

Recently moved into a new house where seller rented a storage pod. Storage pod was picked up/removed by moving company approx. 2 months later. Upon removal, the moving company damaged part of our driveway due to incorrect positioning of pod during original placement of the pod. In pod contract there is a clause that holds moving company harmless should any damage occur, and also allows for an easement for pod pickup. Given we did not rent the pod, and their negligence during pod placement, do we have grounds to sue for damages? We submitted a claim and they refused to fix damage approx. 1500. Any advice?

Asked on August 17, 2016 under Real Estate Law, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Were you the ones who signed the contract with the pod company--apparently not, since you say it was the seller who rented the pod and that you did not rent it. If that is the case, the hold harmless provision does NOT protect the company from liability or prevent you from suing them for the damage they negligently (carelessly) did to your property. A contract *only* binds the people who sign it. The contract may mean that the seller might have to reimburse the pod company for any compensation they have to pay you, but it does not stop you, a 3rd party not part of the contract, from suing.
And suing the pod company (possibly in small claims court, on a "pro se," or as your own attorney, basis to save legal fees) is what you should do. When someone carelessly damages your property, they are liable for it. You don't sue the seller, since the seller did not cause your damage--he did not direct the placement of the pod, or was the one setting it down and picking it up. Again, contractually, he may have to later reimburse the pod company, but that is for him and the pod company to work out--it's not your issue or concern.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption