Go Back   English Forum Switzerland > Help & tips > Housing in general  
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 09.03.2020, 16:01
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2019
Location: Vaud
Posts: 46
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 23 Times in 16 Posts
Humph has no particular reputation at present
Garden damage - responsibility?

Hi, I'm not sure if this belongs here, but here goes...

I rent an apartment surrounded by vineyards. We had a trampoline in the garden which blew away in a recent storm into a neighbouring vineyard causing damage. Vineyard owner asked if I had insurance to cover the damage. My home insurance didn't cover it, as the damage didn't take place at my home. Personal liability insurance didn't cover it as the incident wasn't caused by me (it was the wind). When I called them, the ECA told me that their insurance only covered my property, and it would have to be a joint claim to them with the vineyard owner, whose insurance should cover his property, but it turned out the vineyards weren't part of his property so not covered. The ECA did send a further letter adding to this though, which I'll mention below.

The vineyard owner now wants to present me with a bill to cover the damage (he says he doesn't know what this will be yet, but I suspect its going to be big bucks).

This all feels very forced, and I have no idea what the legal situation might be.

One further thing - the trampoline in question was left by the previous tenants. When they moved out, they asked if we would like to buy it, along with some other bits and pieces. It was left at the property, but once we moved in and had the chance to inspect it, it was in such a bad state that we didn't complete the sale. By this time the previous tenants had left the country though.

I mention this because a) I don't actually know if I actually own the thing which caused this damage at this point and b) the follow up letter I got from the ECA also stated that the trampoline should have been made secure in the bad weather. This might be the case, but seeing as I didn't buy or install the thing, I have no idea if it had been made safe in the first place.

Anyone got a take on this? Am I legally responsible?
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank Humph for this useful post:
  #2  
Old 09.03.2020, 16:12
Phil_MCR's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Basel
Posts: 13,441
Groaned at 269 Times in 175 Posts
Thanked 16,253 Times in 6,905 Posts
Phil_MCR has a reputation beyond reputePhil_MCR has a reputation beyond reputePhil_MCR has a reputation beyond reputePhil_MCR has a reputation beyond reputePhil_MCR has a reputation beyond reputePhil_MCR has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Garden damage - responsibility?

This reads like a law student case study! 😂
Reply With Quote
The following 8 users would like to thank Phil_MCR for this useful post:
  #3  
Old 09.03.2020, 16:16
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2019
Location: Vaud
Posts: 46
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 23 Times in 16 Posts
Humph has no particular reputation at present
Re: Garden damage - responsibility?

Quote:
View Post
This reads like a law student case study! 😂
It gets worse - the vineyard owner is related to the letting agency
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 09.03.2020, 16:17
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Leimbach, Zürich
Posts: 7,262
Groaned at 419 Times in 345 Posts
Thanked 8,679 Times in 4,221 Posts
EdwinNL has a reputation beyond reputeEdwinNL has a reputation beyond reputeEdwinNL has a reputation beyond reputeEdwinNL has a reputation beyond reputeEdwinNL has a reputation beyond reputeEdwinNL has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Garden damage - responsibility?

Given that you accepted the trampoline and highly likely never demanded anybody to remove it and not did take action yourself to remove I'd indeed say the thing is your problem making you responsible for it.

Thus the vineyard owner can indeed give you the bill, and you have to make sure that you or an insurance pays it, as for your insurances read the papers and don't immediately trust somebody from the helpdesk. And if the storm was forecasted and the trampoline just stood lose it would be negligence for your side meaning the insurance does not have to pay.
Reply With Quote
The following 3 users would like to thank EdwinNL for this useful post:
  #5  
Old 09.03.2020, 16:19
Phil_MCR's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Basel
Posts: 13,441
Groaned at 269 Times in 175 Posts
Thanked 16,253 Times in 6,905 Posts
Phil_MCR has a reputation beyond reputePhil_MCR has a reputation beyond reputePhil_MCR has a reputation beyond reputePhil_MCR has a reputation beyond reputePhil_MCR has a reputation beyond reputePhil_MCR has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Garden damage - responsibility?

Quote:
View Post
Given that you accepted the trampoline and highly likely never demanded anybody to remove it and not did take action yourself to remove I'd indeed say the thing is your problem making you responsible for it.

Thus the vineyard owner can indeed give you the bill, and you have to make sure that you or an insurance pays it, as for your insurances read the papers and don't immediately trust somebody from the helpdesk. And if the storm was forecasted and the trampoline just stood lose it would be negligence for your side meaning the insurance does not have to pay.
I think personal liability insurance normally includes coverage of gross negligence (since most cases involve this).
Reply With Quote
The following 5 users would like to thank Phil_MCR for this useful post:
  #6  
Old 09.03.2020, 16:21
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2019
Location: Vaud
Posts: 46
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 23 Times in 16 Posts
Humph has no particular reputation at present
Re: Garden damage - responsibility?

Quote:
View Post
I think personal liability insurance normally includes coverage of gross negligence (since most cases involve this).
So my best bet might be trying to persuade my insurance company I was grossly negligent?
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 09.03.2020, 16:23
fatmanfilms's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Verbier
Posts: 17,520
Groaned at 298 Times in 246 Posts
Thanked 16,568 Times in 9,137 Posts
fatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Garden damage - responsibility?

Quote:
View Post
I think personal liability insurance normally includes coverage of gross negligence (since most cases involve this).
Depends on hoe strong the wind was, possibly an act of god.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 09.03.2020, 16:24
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Leimbach, Zürich
Posts: 7,262
Groaned at 419 Times in 345 Posts
Thanked 8,679 Times in 4,221 Posts
EdwinNL has a reputation beyond reputeEdwinNL has a reputation beyond reputeEdwinNL has a reputation beyond reputeEdwinNL has a reputation beyond reputeEdwinNL has a reputation beyond reputeEdwinNL has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Garden damage - responsibility?

Quote:
View Post
I think personal liability insurance normally includes coverage of gross negligence (since most cases involve this).
Mostly only if you've taken on the "gross negligence" extra module.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 09.03.2020, 16:25
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Leimbach, Zürich
Posts: 7,262
Groaned at 419 Times in 345 Posts
Thanked 8,679 Times in 4,221 Posts
EdwinNL has a reputation beyond reputeEdwinNL has a reputation beyond reputeEdwinNL has a reputation beyond reputeEdwinNL has a reputation beyond reputeEdwinNL has a reputation beyond reputeEdwinNL has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Garden damage - responsibility?

Quote:
View Post
So my best bet might be trying to persuade my insurance company I was grossly negligent?
Perhaps you should first read your policy to know what you are actually insured for. And gross negligence is mostly (if not always) an extra module and not included in the default insurance.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 09.03.2020, 16:26
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2019
Location: Vaud
Posts: 46
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 23 Times in 16 Posts
Humph has no particular reputation at present
Re: Garden damage - responsibility?

Quote:
View Post
Depends on hoe strong the wind was, possibly an act of god.
It was strong enough to move a very heavy trampoline which to the best of my knowledge hadn't been affected by the wind like this for all the years it had been there. How do you measure Act of God? I'm wondering what might be more beneficial for me - if it was an Act of God, would I be legally liable still?
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 09.03.2020, 16:26
fatmanfilms's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Verbier
Posts: 17,520
Groaned at 298 Times in 246 Posts
Thanked 16,568 Times in 9,137 Posts
fatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Garden damage - responsibility?

Quote:
View Post
Mostly only if you've taken on the "gross negligence" extra module.
You would be a fool not to be (ducking for cover)
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 09.03.2020, 16:27
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Leimbach, Zürich
Posts: 7,262
Groaned at 419 Times in 345 Posts
Thanked 8,679 Times in 4,221 Posts
EdwinNL has a reputation beyond reputeEdwinNL has a reputation beyond reputeEdwinNL has a reputation beyond reputeEdwinNL has a reputation beyond reputeEdwinNL has a reputation beyond reputeEdwinNL has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Garden damage - responsibility?

Quote:
View Post
It was strong enough to move a very heavy trampoline which to the best of my knowledge hadn't been affected by the wind like this for all the years it had been there. How do you measure Act of God? I'm wondering what might be more beneficial for me - if it was an Act of God, would I be legally liable still?
If you can proof it was god himself, I'd pay the vineyard due by allowing religious people to have a jump on the trampoline touched by god for 100,-
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank EdwinNL for this useful post:
  #13  
Old 09.03.2020, 16:28
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Leimbach, Zürich
Posts: 7,262
Groaned at 419 Times in 345 Posts
Thanked 8,679 Times in 4,221 Posts
EdwinNL has a reputation beyond reputeEdwinNL has a reputation beyond reputeEdwinNL has a reputation beyond reputeEdwinNL has a reputation beyond reputeEdwinNL has a reputation beyond reputeEdwinNL has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Garden damage - responsibility?

Quote:
View Post
You would be a fool not to be (ducking for cover)
We should do a poll on insurances and see how many would vote for:

"I have no clue what I signed or am insured for but some dude said it be fine"
Reply With Quote
The following 5 users would like to thank EdwinNL for this useful post:
  #14  
Old 09.03.2020, 16:31
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2019
Location: Vaud
Posts: 46
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 23 Times in 16 Posts
Humph has no particular reputation at present
Re: Garden damage - responsibility?

I have just checked and I have personal liability with gross negligence cover.

So, that being the case, maybe it is beneficial to try to frame this as negligence on my part. Any lawyers in the house?
Reply With Quote
The following 2 users would like to thank Humph for this useful post:
  #15  
Old 09.03.2020, 16:32
fatmanfilms's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Verbier
Posts: 17,520
Groaned at 298 Times in 246 Posts
Thanked 16,568 Times in 9,137 Posts
fatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Garden damage - responsibility?

Quote:
View Post
if it was an Act of God, would I be legally liable still?
No, as it was not your fault , as you could not have reasonably expected anything bad to happen, so were not negligent in any way.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 09.03.2020, 16:34
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Zürich
Posts: 51
Groaned at 1 Time in 1 Post
Thanked 34 Times in 20 Posts
erchegyia has no particular reputation at present
Re: Garden damage - responsibility?

let the vineyard owner and your liability insurance fight it out. If one says it was the wind: you are not liable. If you are liable, the insurance should pay for it.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 09.03.2020, 16:34
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Leimbach, Zürich
Posts: 7,262
Groaned at 419 Times in 345 Posts
Thanked 8,679 Times in 4,221 Posts
EdwinNL has a reputation beyond reputeEdwinNL has a reputation beyond reputeEdwinNL has a reputation beyond reputeEdwinNL has a reputation beyond reputeEdwinNL has a reputation beyond reputeEdwinNL has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Garden damage - responsibility?

Quote:
View Post
I have just checked and I have personal liability with gross negligence cover.

So, that being the case, maybe it is beneficial to try to frame this as negligence on my part. Any lawyers in the house?
Do the conditions of your insurance make it sure that something being blown from your garden to somebody else and causing damage on the way is insured?
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 09.03.2020, 16:34
fatmanfilms's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Verbier
Posts: 17,520
Groaned at 298 Times in 246 Posts
Thanked 16,568 Times in 9,137 Posts
fatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Garden damage - responsibility?

Quote:
View Post
I have just checked and I have personal liability with gross negligence cover.

So, that being the case, maybe it is beneficial to try to frame this as negligence on my part. Any lawyers in the house?
I don't think this would ever fall under gross negligence, just negligence.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank fatmanfilms for this useful post:
  #19  
Old 09.03.2020, 16:34
Axa's Avatar
Axa Axa is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2019
Location: Suhr, Aargau
Posts: 483
Groaned at 7 Times in 7 Posts
Thanked 604 Times in 282 Posts
Axa has an excellent reputationAxa has an excellent reputationAxa has an excellent reputationAxa has an excellent reputation
Re: Garden damage - responsibility?

What does the apartment owner thinks about the issue? Did he considers the trampoline: (i) trash left behind the previous tenant, (ii) your property.

In the first case, the previous tenant deposit is just there to cover the damages.

In the second case, it seems people (vineyard owner and apartment owner) assume the trampoline is yours and you need to prove them wrong. You may be right, but you need to prove it first. What does the état de lieux that you signed when arrived to the apartment says? Does it mentions the trampoline?

Considering the disposal of trash is a costly affair in Switzerland, I would think a bit about the motivations of the previous tenant. It was less expensive to give away the trash instead of cleaning. I shared a flat for some years and there was nothing that made people more furious than asking them to take all their property when leaving. People complained about my rudeness for not taking a "gift" (a chair, a plant, a bed frame, etc). I just pointed that getting rid of the trash would cost me X amount of francs, so if someone wanted to leave an object behind, should also leave some money for proper waste disposal.
Reply With Quote
The following 3 users would like to thank Axa for this useful post:
  #20  
Old 09.03.2020, 16:36
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2019
Location: Vaud
Posts: 46
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 23 Times in 16 Posts
Humph has no particular reputation at present
Re: Garden damage - responsibility?

Quote:
View Post
No, as it was not your fault
Sooo... to summarise... if the wind was unusually strong, and the trampoline was properly secured, then it was an Act of God and I wouldn't be legally liable and the insurance wouldn't pay out (which is what my insurers seemed to be saying in the first place)

But in the alternative, if the trampoline wasn't secured properly and the storm was forecast then it was my fault, and my insurance may kick in for gross negligence cover?
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank Humph for this useful post:
Reply




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Question about responsibility of furniture damage in a semi-furnished apartment Konuku Housing in general 12 16.01.2019 21:25
Material damage: employee responsibility djarzic Employment 20 18.01.2018 11:15
Pets and a Sense of Responsibility JLF Complaints corner 57 15.06.2012 20:49
Father Not wanting responsibility Lula78 Family matters/health 170 05.12.2011 17:17
Plumbing, whose responsibility? funtime Housing in general 8 07.04.2011 10:16


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 23:03.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
LinkBacks Enabled by vBSEO 3.1.0