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Chris The Lawyer
Chris The Lawyer, Lawyer
Category: New Zealand Law
Satisfied Customers: 22811
Experience:  38 years qualified as a lawyer; LLB, MMgt and FAMINZ.
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On my property I have a separate unit which I rented out.

Customer Question

On my property I have a separate unit which I rented out. About two weeks ago there was a big storm with very heavy winds. This resulted in the gate which gives access to the unit being slammed so hard that it broke apart. The assessor from the Insurance
company agreed that it will be replaced however there is an excess of $400 which I would like to collect from the tenant. The tenant claims that he is not responsible under the tenancy agreement. This is what he wrote me: "I have spoken to my insurance company
to clarify my obligation to pay the excess on your insurance claim. They advise me that I have no obligation in that regard. I also checked our tenancy agreement and similarly find no obligation. The gate was damaged as the result of a weather event (gale
force winds). I am having difficulty in understanding how I am responsible for the payment of the excess. Can you explain this to me please." The gate was on the catch but the tenant claims the wind was too strong for the catch to hold the gate in place. Looking
forward to your reply
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: New Zealand Law
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 2 years ago.
The tenant is responsible for negligence, but an event of unusually high wind would be outside of that liability. If he claims he did put the gate on the latch then it would be hard to prove otherwise.
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 2 years ago.
These used to be refered to as acts of God, but are now called unexpected events. The tenant is not liable for these unexpected events.

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