Who is responsible if a tenant’s property is damaged bya contractor hired by the apartment complex?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Who is responsible if a tenant’s property is damaged bya contractor hired by the apartment complex?

Our apartment contracted a company to paint the exterior of our building. They gave us notice work would start Thursday but it started Wednesday – a day early. So the painters destroyed our outdoor patio furniture, wreath, and doormat. Some of the items were quite expensive and they even got overspray on our vehicles. The apartment says that its not responsible; it maintains that its the painters responsibility. Even with the receipts for $400 to replace our own stuff, the painters say its an “excessive amount.” They said $70 is what they will pay. The apartment will not even give us a contact number for the contractors, just their e-mail.

Asked on February 11, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Virginia

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If the painters are independent contractors, the landlord would NOT be liable for their negligence. 

If the painters are employees of the landlord, then the landlord would be liable for their negligence because their negligence would have occurred within the course and scope of their employment.

You could sue the painters' company in Small Claims Court for negligence. The company would be liable for the negligence of its employees which occurred in the course and scope of their employment. Your damages (the amount you are seeking to recover) would be the cost of repairs or replacement of your damaged items.  The receipts you mentioned will provide evidence of the replacement cost.  In addition to the replacement/repair cost of your items, your damages should also include court costs.  Court costs would include the court filing fee and process server fee.

 


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