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Damage for short stay WG, Haftpflichtversicherung? Options?

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Hi, I am currently living elsewhere, however my situation is:

 

For a short period (6 weeks), I stayed in a WG, where I made a private contract with a student who returned to his home country (non EU), and had a month+ remaining on his contract that he was subletting to recoup some of his costs. The contract was in English, and the student didn't speak German.

 

The issue is, the main tenants in the WG are claiming that I damaged something (example: I placed something on carpet by their instructions and it damaged carpet). Basically, I asked them how I can do something, and they misunderstood things and said yes, until after I left (3 weeks ago) and now are claiming I damaged property. 

 

The student who has a contract with them obviously has a significant kaution with the main WG tenants, who probably have a significant kaution with the landlord/owner. As for me, I have a small (€150) kaution with the student.

 

The WG tenants asked me if I have insurance, and that their landlord says replacement is needed for the damage. The student is also angry at the WG tenants moreso than me, as they had miscommunicated rules with him too.

 

At this phase, what should I do? I do have Haftpflichtversicherung, however the WG tenants claim I damaged the fixture, rather than simply did as they confirmed I could.

 

I am sure they will try to take the kaution from the student who isn't in Germany, in addition to somehow asking me to pay, but can they really do that? How would the legal rules apply here?

 

Thanks

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So to recap, you had a subtenancy (Untermietung) contract with one of the WG residents. During this time, the other tenants said you could place something on the carpet, which you did. This somehow damaged the carpet, which belongs to the owner, who is now asking the WG occupants to pay for it.

Could you be a bit more specific about what it is you placed on the carpet? This could more or less determine fault. For example, if you placed (exaggerated) a burning log on a carpet because your apartment mates said it's okay, I don't think you can pass on the blame to someone else. On the other hand, if you placed the corner of your bed on the carpet, this I imagine would be a perfectly normal thing to do.

My suggestion is to not tell them you have a liability insurance. They could even be just trying to get you pawn off the problem onto your liability insurance. It's even possible that the owner just wants to get a new carpet. Hence, please provide more details.

As always, I'm not a lawyer, this is just my opinion.

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On 4/16/2019, 2:45:04, generalmartok said:

So to recap, you had a subtenancy (Untermietung) contract with one of the WG residents. During this time, the other tenants said you could place something on the carpet, which you did. This somehow damaged the carpet, which belongs to the owner, who is now asking the WG occupants to pay for it.

Could you be a bit more specific about what it is you placed on the carpet? This could more or less determine fault. For example, if you placed (exaggerated) a burning log on a carpet because your apartment mates said it's okay, I don't think you can pass on the blame to someone else. On the other hand, if you placed the corner of your bed on the carpet, this I imagine would be a perfectly normal thing to do.

My suggestion is to not tell them you have a liability insurance. They could even be just trying to get you pawn off the problem onto your liability insurance. It's even possible that the owner just wants to get a new carpet. Hence, please provide more details.

As always, I'm not a lawyer, this is just my opinion.

 

Have sent you a PM.

 

As for "  I don't think you can pass on the blame to someone else. ", does this mean that they will find a way to sue? Can this work, even if the they do not know my address or I refuse to pay their demands?

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Did you damage something or not?

 

On 4/15/2019, 3:08:54, jonnypp said:

however the WG tenants claim I damaged the fixture

On 4/15/2019, 3:08:54, jonnypp said:

I placed something on carpet by their instructions and it damaged carpet)

 

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If you don't mind OP, I will post here the details you sent me by PM.

 

So basically, the OP asked the main tenant where they can place the hot frying pan after cooking. The main tenant told him it was okay to use place it on the granite counter top without using an Untersetzer. As a result, there is some discolouration.

 

OP, where does the carpet come in?

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24 minutes ago, generalmartok said:

So basically, the OP asked the main tenant where they can place the hot frying pan after cooking. The main tenant told him it was okay to use place it on the granite counter top without using an Untersetzer. As a result, there is some discolouration

 

It is the sealant that has been damaged, not the granite itself.  Ask a Naturstein dealer for advice.  It can be cleaned and reapplied.

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32 minutes ago, snowingagain said:

 

 

It is the sealant that has been damaged, not the granite itself.  Ask a Naturstein dealer for advice.  It can be cleaned and reapplied.

 

They said their landlord was unable to do so and replacement is required. How can I contest it? (Both being responsible and ability for them to repair the already previously stained counter)?

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1 hour ago, generalmartok said:

If you don't mind OP, I will post here the details you sent me by PM.

 

So basically, the OP asked the main tenant where they can place the hot frying pan after cooking. The main tenant told him it was okay to use place it on the granite counter top without using an Untersetzer. As a result, there is some discolouration.

 

OP, where does the carpet come in?

 

No carpet, just what I mentioned about the pans

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you have the option to get profi advice, yourself.  they can't hold you responsible for "damage" if you've had it repaired.

 

and for the future:  never put a hot pan on ANY countertop or surface unless you really don't care if it gets damaged.

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And never put a hot glass dish on any kind of stone countertop - it will explode. Happened to my friend when she was showing off her new kitchen for Thanksgiving dinner.

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You wrote in your PM that since you only "did as you were told" by placing the hot pan on the counter top, and hence are not liable. This isn't really true.

Whether or not you can get away with not paying is a different question.

 

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22 minutes ago, fraufruit said:

And never put a hot glass dish on any kind of stone countertop - it will explode

 

 the glass or the stone will explode?

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22 minutes ago, generalmartok said:

You wrote in your PM that since you only "did as you were told" by placing the hot pan on the counter top, and hence are not liable. This isn't really true.

Whether or not you can get away with not paying is a different question.

 

 

What would be the deciding factors here? They haven't said anything in a few days, what can they do?

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17 minutes ago, lisa13 said:

 

 the glass or the stone will explode?

 

Sorry, the glass dish when placed on the cold granite.

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OP If you have insurance, why don't you want to use it? This is exactly the kind of situation you need it for. You were not negligent, but you were responsible for the damage, let the insurance pay or argue the case.

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you admit, yourself, that you damaged the counter.  are you seriously going to try to weasel out of it and pin it on your hauptmieter?

 

you even have haftpflichtversicherung!  wtf man?

 

eta: your insurance will decide and deal with the owner regarding what kind of repair is reasonable.  It won't be your problem.

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Purely speculating: The landlord could push the cost on all the tenants. How that plays out for you I can't tell since I don't know the details of your subtenancy contract. If your friend already returned your deposit to you, I don't see how they can make you pay.

If you want to be a nice person, just pay for the repairs. You clearly knew that it would damage the surface. You said you always used coasters before.

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6 minutes ago, pappnase said:

OP If you have insurance, why don't you want to use it? This is exactly the kind of situation you need it for. You were not negligent, but you were responsible for the damage, let the insurance pay or argue the case.

 

It's not that I don't want to use it, it's that I don't want to run the risk of not being covered (I've never used insurance before but I have it for half a year now and mietschaden is covered. Basically I don't want to run the risk that insurance won't pay, AND I'm then required to pay.

 

To the other posts, no, I had no idea, and I was clearly told (verbally) that the counter was very strong and heat resistant. So I used it. If I was not told, I would simply have used coasters that they provided.

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3 minutes ago, generalmartok said:

If you want to be a basically responsible person and not a complete scumbag, just pay for the repairs

 

ftfy

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