Damage done to someone else by moving company - landlord helds me responsible

38 posts in this topic

Hello all,

 

I have a problem with my old landlord and I'm seeking some council. It's a rather complex issue, I hope there is someone who can give me some ideas, this really stresses me out.

 

TL;DR: Moving company I paid for "damaged" someone else in the same building complex and they won't do anything about it. House management keeps me responsible. What should I do?

 

More details:

 

I used to live in a building complex, there were 8-10 different households in the same address and a common inner courtyard. It's wide enough for cars and trucks to go in.

 

Few weeks ago, I found a new apartment and decided to move out. I went to Ebay Kleinanzeigen and found a company with 3 helpers and 1 truck for me to move me to the place.

 

Before the moving started, truck driver made a mistake and made a little scratch to one of the ladders in the courtyard. It's a metal & sprial ladder which belongs to another building under the same address but it's not my building. It's actually 2 buildings away but, like i said it's under the same address with my old apartment and managed by the some company managing my building.

 

Person who is living in the affected building saw this (he was watching the truck coming backwards) and went crazy when the driver made a mistake. He took some pictures, yelled etc and truck driver told him to call the police and get a report. Truck driver said he'll wait until the police comes. They argued in German and I didn't really understand what happend / if there were really a damage. According to the guy who got the ladder hit, one of the steps moved back few centimeters and it needs to be repaired. (Ladder looks like this https://www.arkestairs.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/ENDURO-3.jpg) Someone else in the area told that other cars also hit it in the past and it was damaged already. Affected person told me that it should be reported and I told him that I can help if something is needed but I'm not really a part of this.

 

Then nothing happened, he didn't call the police. Guys I hired loaded things in to the truck (took like 1 hour) and then we left. I paid them in cash and stupidly didn't get any invoice.

 

Then few days ago, my landlord called me and said affected person made a complaint to the house management and the company I hired should give them a call regarding insurance etc. I said okay and I called the moving company to give the news. The guy I talked with (which is the driver) said he won't do anything until police arrives to his door since he didn't do any damage and he won't accept any other damages. After few minutes on the phone, he finally said that he'll call. Recently I got the news that he didn't call the house management and now house management is helding me responsible for this.

 

Then I called the truck driver back, told him to call or I'll go to the police about this. He started threatening me like "i know your address, i know many people in the city you should be careful, if you go to the police I'll come to your house and attack you" etc. I told him that it's not helping and he should call the house management. He said his lawyer will call the house management. I doubt anyone called the house management. I also gave the contact info of moving company to house management + took screenshots from the Ebay.

 

It's my first time something like this happened and I don't know where will this lead. My landlord says I need to go to police and report the accident or else they will go to police and report me. I don't want to go to the police because I'm not the person who made the damage, I'm not the affected person. Affected person was there and didn't call the police.

 

My questions are:

 

1- What would be the best possible approach here? What should I do? I don't want to be a part of this since it should be between truck driver and house management.

2- I don't want to get beaten up or something by some angry truck driver if I go to the police. Do you think he can really do something? He knows my address and he looked pretty dangerous.

3- I also dont want to pay for damages to the staircase or any lawyer costs etc.

4- Am I really responsible here? I didn't even open the doors for the courtyard to them, they were already in the courtyard when I dressed up and go down.

 

Maybe I'm overreacting but i'm having nightmares about paying loads of money to lawyers and getting beat up. Please help me out :wacko:

 

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What if the driver got in an accident on the way to your place?  Would you be responsible for that?   

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You weren't driving. It's the driver's fault. Your landlord is probably looking for a way to keep your deposit or did you already get it back? Have they mentioned taking the money out of your deposit? That would be illegal.

 

You didn't do anything. Don't worry.

 

If the police get involved - do tell them that he threatened you.

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18 minutes ago, catjones said:

What if the driver got in an accident on the way to your place?  Would you be responsible for that?   

 

Yes, that was my argument too. Landlord told me that I'm responsible because I'm the reason they were here in the first place. Doesn't makes sense to me but is there something like this in Germany? Am I really responsible under the eyes of law?

 

7 minutes ago, fraufruit said:

You weren't driving. It's the driver's fault. Your landlord is probably looking for a way to keep your deposit or did you already get it back? Have they mentioned taking the money out of your deposit? That would be illegal.

 

You didn't do anything. Don't worry.

 

If the police get involved - do tell them that he threatened you.

 

Thanks a lot for your message. Should I do nothing and wait? In my opinion, I did enough by sharing contact details of the moving company with house management + landlord, calling this company 3 times and arguing with an angry man to call the house management. Going to the police for "anzeige" kind of too much for me I think?

 

There were no deposits paid so that's not my problem. Actually I was an untermieter, so landlord is someone else and the person rented out the apartment is the real renter. He is no longer living there and rented the place to me for a short time. The problem is, the person I pay rent (my landlord) is in the same company with me and he is my superior. Not sure if this would affect my office life...

 

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4 minutes ago, canyil said:

The problem is, the person I pay rent (my landlord) is in the same company with me and he is my superior. Not sure if this would affect my office life...

 

Has he said anything? I hope you haven't told him about it. 

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48 minutes ago, canyil said:

Someone else in the area told that other cars also hit it in the past and it was damaged already.

 

Did you get her/his name?

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57 minutes ago, fraufruit said:

 

Has he said anything? I hope you haven't told him about it. 

 

He is already included. Sorry if I confused you.

 

Chain of rent is like this:

 

Real landlord > My landlord (the person which is in the same company with me) > Me

 

When the person with staircase complained to the house management, they reached out to real landlord. Then real landlord reached out to my landlord and then he reached out to me. My landlord (the guy in the same company with me) making me call the moving company + filling out a police report since he is also being responsible for this. Not sure why is he also included but he is legal tenant in the building.

 

56 minutes ago, fraufruit said:

 

Did you get her/his name?

 

No but he is living in the same building with me. I don't know if he would accept to tell the same thing to the police to be honest.

 

What would be the best move? Maybe I can just go to police and ask all about this? Would they reply my to questions? I doubt any legal action taken so far but house management might report my landlord to the police in the next steps. Therefore I'll be involved after him.

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2 hours ago, canyil said:

... where will this lead. My landlord says I need to go to police and report the accident or else they will go to police and report me. 

Why your landlord insist on you filing the police report ? Tell them that you did not witness the accident and it will be false to file one when you are not the witness. I belive you are already helping them by giving the contact information of the moving company. So the the house management can file the police report based on the witness against the moving company and can recover their damage. You can inform the building management that you are availaible for any help. In my opinion filing a police report without being a witness, due to pressure of other is still wrong. 

 

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And if you don't already have it, get both third party liability and legal insurance. And as others said, the landlord is trying to twke advantage of you. It¡s the drivers fault not yours. Tell him to burger off.

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I'm not a lawyer but I doubt the police will be interested as it happened on private property - which makes it a civil law case. Whoever wants damage compensation must take the matter to court themselves and sue the driver.

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10 hours ago, vivanco said:

Why your landlord insist on you filing the police report ? Tell them that you did not witness the accident and it will be false to file one when you are not the witness. I belive you are already helping them by giving the contact information of the moving company. So the the house management can file the police report based on the witness against the moving company and can recover their damage. You can inform the building management that you are availaible for any help. In my opinion filing a police report without being a witness, due to pressure of other is still wrong. 

 

 

Yes I agree with you but i'm no law expert so I don't know my rights here. Should I talk with a lawyer?

 

10 hours ago, Rushrush said:

And if you don't already have it, get both third party liability and legal insurance. And as others said, the landlord is trying to twke advantage of you. It¡s the drivers fault not yours. Tell him to burger off.

 

Yepp, I got liability and legal insurance now. It's a peace of mind but legal one has waiting time between 3-6 months depending on the case. 

 

5 hours ago, jeba said:

I'm not a lawyer but I doubt the police will be interested as it happened on private property - which makes it a civil law case. Whoever wants damage compensation must take the matter to court themselves and sue the driver.

 

Thank you for your input. They have the truck's plate number, contact information and everything they need to pursue him down. I'm feeling like nobody wants to take responsibility and deal with this so they are pushing me to solve things for them. It'd be easier for everyone if truck driver would just called them and take the necessary steps but that's not happening as far as I can tell.

 

So I wait and see how it goes then..

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1 minute ago, canyil said:

Should I talk with a lawyer?

I wouldn´t waste my money on it.

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You know the other day I was walking along the street and a passing car just happened to scratch another parked one.

I saw what happened because I was walking past but the owner of the parked car wants to hold me responsible.

What should I do?

 

Nah, come on, as others have said it's nothing to do with you, at worst you could be asked for info as a witness (if you saw it happen).

 

It's an issue between the driver or his company and the building people.

Give them the driver's (or company's) contact info and let them argue about it.

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1 hour ago, canyil said:

I'm feeling like nobody wants to take responsibility and deal with this so they are pushing me to solve things for them. It'd be easier for everyone if truck driver would just called them and take the necessary steps but that's not happening as far as I can tell.

 

But according to the guy in your building, the damage was already there so nobody in this case is responsible. 

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  1. Tell whoever is chasing you about this that you have done all you can and you don't intend to do any more. Then wait.
  2. In case of a court summons, get a lawyer to deal with it.
  3. In case of workplace bullying, get HR to deal with it. (if this fails see 2)
  4. In case of psychical violence or threats of same go to the police.
  5. If anything else shows up, go back to step 1

 

 

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1 hour ago, Malt-Teaser said:

You know the other day I was walking along the street and a passing car just happened to scratch another parked one.

I saw what happened because I was walking past but the owner of the parked car wants to hold me responsible.

What should I do?

 

Nah, come on, as others have said it's nothing to do with you, at worst you could be asked for info as a witness (if you saw it happen).

 

It's an issue between the driver or his company and the building people.

Give them the driver's (or company's) contact info and let them argue about it.

 

You are right but I thought I might be responsible since the event happenend in private property and they were here because of me. My landlord said in Germany i'm responsible for these kind of things but couldn't find any info on this.

 

 

43 minutes ago, pappnase said:
  1. Tell whoever is chasing you about this that you have done all you can and you don't intend to do any more. Then wait.
  2. In case of a court summons, get a lawyer to deal with it.
  3. In case of workplace bullying, get HR to deal with it. (if this fails see 2)
  4. In case of psychical violence or threats of same go to the police.
  5. If anything else shows up, go back to step 1

 

 

 

Good algorithm! Thanks for this input :)

 

I appreciate all of the replies here, these gave me peace of mind. I'll update the post if something comes up.

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30 minutes ago, canyil said:

My landlord said in Germany i'm responsible for these kind of things but couldn't find any info on this.

That might be the case if something belonging to the place you´re renting was damaged. E.g. if a visitor of yours spills a bottle of red wine onto the white carpet which belongs to your landlord. I think in that case you´d be liable towards your landlord and would have to claim it back from your visitor.

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2 hours ago, pappnase said:
  1. Tell whoever is chasing you about this that you have done all you can and you don't intend to do any more. Then wait.
  2. In case of a court summons, get a lawyer to deal with it.
  3. In case of workplace bullying, get HR to deal with it. (if this fails see 2)
  4. In case of psychical violence or threats of same go to the police.
  5. If anything else shows up, go back to step 1 CALL CHUCK NORRIS: +1-800-CHUCK

FTFY

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2 hours ago, fraufruit said:

Are you by any chance a member of the Mietverein? They could be helpful.

 

No but maybe I'll join one. I saw they are helpful in these kind of cases.

 

1 hour ago, jeba said:

That might be the case if something belonging to the place you´re renting was damaged. E.g. if a visitor of yours spills a bottle of red wine onto the white carpet which belongs to your landlord. I think in that case you´d be liable towards your landlord and would have to claim it back from your visitor.

 

Thanks for the clarification. "Damage" done was under the same address but it isn't the same building I rent. However I'm not the real renter, it was a sublet.

 

Whole building complex and address is owned / managed by the same company. Maybe my landlord signed something which says he is responsible with everything in the same address? Then your example would be valid in my case? I'm not sure if that makes sense but:

 

Visitor > (moving company) damaged the white carpet > (stairs) which belongs to the landlord > (company owning the building complex)

 

Can they make a case like this? They were mentioning something like this.

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