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CalAttorney2, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 10244
Experience:  Civil litigation attorney for individuals and businesses.
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A rental bounce house was stolen from my backyard am I responsible

Customer Question

A rental bounce house was stolen from my backyard am I responsible for the stolen bounce house or is the company. I have a case open with the police department.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 2 years ago.
Yes, unfortunately you are responsible for the property that was stolen while it was in your possession.Contact your homeowners or renters insurance to see if they will cover the loss.I am sorry to learn about this, and I do hope you are able to find a source of payment through one of the insurance policies noted above.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
If you are renting from a company is it required for you to sign responsibility of the property you hold in your possession. And if you didn't should the rental company report to their insurance.
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 2 years ago.
No, there is no requirement for them to have a written contract (although it is usually good practice to do so).The loss is your liability, not the companies, so while the company may tender the claim to their insurance, they have no obligation to do so, and the insurance would have a right of "subrogation" to sue you for reimbursement of that claim. (Whether or not the insurance carrier would actually do so is a different matter).Some businesses will accept the responsibility for the loss from their customer, but they do not have a duty to do so.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I don't believe I should be held liable when I'm the victim. And how do I know this isn't a scam the rental company does to their customers.
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 2 years ago.
You can refuse to pay, the only way they could force you to pay would be to take you to small claims court and sue you for breach of contract.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
But we have no contract so how can I breach a contract that doesn't exist
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 2 years ago.
You have an oral (also called a "parole") contract.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Can I counter sue if they take me to small claims court
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 2 years ago.
Sure.The California Courts have a very good 'self help' website that gives you a good overview of the small claims litigation process and what to expect if the matter actually does go to court: of filing a lawsuit, you can try to mediate the dispute with them - contact your local bar association and request referrals to mediators, a third party neutral can often help you reach a mutually agreeable resolution. Use the bar association's referrals to contact a mediator or two, the mediator will then contact the other party to set up a mediation session, and you can go from there - hopefully resulting in a formal or written settlement agreement, and save yourself the time and expense of litigation.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I'm located in Florida not California
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 2 years ago.
My apologies, Florida's site is not quite as helpful (see:, but the same principles apply.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 2 years ago.
You are welcome, and I do wish you the best with this matter.Thank you for using our forum, and please do not forget to rate my service so that I can receive credit for assisting you.Thank you again, and again I wish you the best.Bill