This is a question to the blog clinic from Vidhya who is a tenant.
I was mugged and had my house keys in my handbag (which did not have any identifiable data to trace my home address.)
My landlord wants to charge me to fit new security locks for the main flat building entrance and provide 3 sets of keys for the 8 flats as well as change the locks in my flat and cut 5 sets of keys. As all the 3 locks that need to changed are security locks, the total cost will be approximately £700.
As I was mugged and did not lose the keys, will I be liable for the cost as I was not negligent?
My contents insurance would not cover the cost. My landlord has landlord’s insurance which he can use but is choosing not too.
What legal standing do I have on this matter?
You should first look at your tenancy agreement to see what it says about your landlord’s insurance and the circumstances under which he should claim under it.
If the tenancy agreement is silent on this point but does refer to the landlord taking out insurance, then you could argue that this is partly for your benefit and that he should, therefore, claim under it rather than expecting you to pay the full cost. As you are paying for a tenancy where the landlord is contracted to carry insurance.
If the landlord does not accept this argument then, if you refuse to pay, no doubt he will wish to make a deduction from your deposit and you will need to argue the point with the adjudicators.
Make sure you have evidence that you were mugged, in particular, a police report, which you can submit to prove the point.
Update – I am informed by TDS that the landlord is not obliged to claim under his insurance. If this is correct then (assuming the terms of their tenancy will not help them) all tenants can do is make sure that their own insurance covers this loss.