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Hotcocoa20

Moving truck caused damage

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I lived for three years at a house in Washington but wasn't on the lease, my roommate was, though the landlords knew I lived there. They offered to give me a good rental reference because we never had late rent. When it came time to move out I rented a Uhaul truck and had my friend "spot" me as I backed up the driveway. He forgot to look up and waved me forward so that the top of the Uhaul hit the face board of the car port. It has a large crack in the board now and probably needs to be partially replaced. The landlord has told the person on the lease they want $3000, which could easily build a new carport. Uhaul insurance that I bought doesn't cover overhead collisions and I talked to my car insurance and they dont cover large hauler type vehicles. I need some next steps. What kind of lawyer can I talk to for advice? 

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What do you want a lawyer's advice about?  You can haggle about the cost of the needed repairs and might want to consult with a local contractor or handyman about that, but there's no argument that you're not responsible for the damage.

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1 hour ago, Hotcocoa20 said:

Do I need anything in writing from the landlord once I find a contractor?

 

I was suggesting you contact a contractor to see if you can get an estimate that you find more palatable than the $3k demand that was made.  You could, of course, simply try and negotiate the dollar amount, but it might be more productive if you can show the landlord an estimate for a lower amount so that he/she has some assurance that the amount you offer will be sufficient to get the work done.

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The property manager emailed saying they don't have a contractor, just guessing it will cost $3000. They are planning to file a claim to their home insurance which they believe my roommate  (because she had the lease) will have to reimburse. They also want to personally charge her for their insurance hike for having to make a claim. This seems outlandish. 

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Your roommate will not be required to pay for the damage simply because she is the lessee.  As the driver of the van you are responsible for the damage.  Also, since the collision is not the fault of the landlord there should be no increase in premium for the landlord's insurance.

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11 hours ago, Hotcocoa20 said:

The property manager emailed saying they don't have a contractor, just guessing it will cost $3000.

 

And you apparently think that's an unreasonably high guess, but I don't know whether either you or the property manager has any relevant knowledge that would make either of your guesses educated guesses.  Again, that's why trying to get an estimate from a local contractor might be advisable.  If you get an estimate, you can take it to the property manager and offer to pay the amount of the estimate (or, if the estimate comes in higher than $3k, you can offer to pay the $3k).  If you are able to reach a deal, you should make sure to get a signed release before or at the time of your payment.

 

 

11 hours ago, Hotcocoa20 said:

They are planning to file a claim to their home insurance which they believe my roommate  (because she had the lease) will have to reimburse.

 

The property manager obviously knows nothing about how insurance works.  If the insurer pays the claim, then the insurer will be subrogated to the insured's rights against the person whose negligence caused the damage.  That person is you, although one probably could make an argument that the your roommate contributed to it such that you are both liable.  That your roommate is on the lease and you aren't is completely irrelevant.

 

 

11 hours ago, Hotcocoa20 said:

They also want to personally charge her for their insurance hike for having to make a claim. This seems outlandish.

 

I agree, but it's not your problem (I also agree with "RetiredinVA" that no premium increase is likely)..

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12 minutes ago, pg1067 said:

That person is you, although one probably could make an argument that the your roommate contributed to it such that you are both liable.  That your roommate is on the lease and you aren't is completely irrelevant.

 

Not entirely irrelevant. The roommate who is on the lease may be immune to subrogation by the owner's insurance company. Washington courts follow the "Sutton" rule that a tenant is a co-insured on the landlord's policy and not subject to subrogation unless the lease specifies otherwise. (Trinity Universal Ins. Co. v. Cook, 276 P. 3d 372 - Wash: Court of Appeals, 3rd Div. 2012)

 

https://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=7387195582045780909&q=trinity+universal+ins+co+v+cook&hl=en&as_sdt=4,48

 

The decision seems to imply that a guest would have no such protection. Whether the OP was a tenant or guest would make for an interesting discussion and would likely depend on the terms of the lease regarding sublessees or guests.

 

 

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