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Tenant personal property damages


I own a condo which had some water damage due to a pipe bursting in the unit. The tenant turned sour (we told her this was an accident, not our fault that the pipe broke)...we had the tenant move to a hotel of her choice (paying twice what she pays us in rent/day) and redid all the flooring and had her move back in.

She withheld the rent for a month and started claiming her personal property had been damaged. A week later, she gave her 30 day notice to move out and tells us to take the rent out of her security deposit.

my question here is that are we responsible to pay for damages to her personal property by law in Massachusetts? Our insurance adjuster says we are not responsible (or rather he said our own policy wouldn't cover her...she needs to have her own insurance for her property). Regardless of coverage, I am wondering whether we are responsible to pay for her personal property that is damaged?


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You are not responsible for damage to your tenant's property unless, by action or omission, you caused the damage.  As your agent suggested, that is why tenants should buy renter's insurance.

We have renters insurance that informed us they do not cover asbestos contamination.

Our apartment bedroom ceiling starting leaking as a result of the snow and ice. We removed our personal property to avoid water damages and to protect our assets. We notified the landlord who visited our apartment on three occasions. The landlord said they would repair the damage when the roof is fixed. At no time did the landlord inform us the ceiling was pop corn ceiling contain asbestos and if the ceiling crack open it will create airborne asbestos. For one week the landlord allow us to sleep in this health hazard environment. We left for the weekend to visit family. when we return to our apartment on Monday morning, we were locked out and did not have access to our property. The asbestos contractor was in our apartment and bagged all our personal property in our bedroom as asbestos contaminated. Several MA laws have been broken 1. I consider this a eviction without notice. 2. Contractors entry without notice. 3. Allowing us to sleep in a Hazard environment.

Our personal property comes to over $8,566.00 from property damages, missing items and asbestos contamination. The landlord insurance company say the goods, bedding, mattress, clothing are used and worn and the value is only $1,100.00. We are appearing in civil housing court were we are seeking the judge to award replacement value due to the landlords reckless and negligence. By not telling us the ceiling contain asbestos our ability to protect our assets was removed. The landlord was well aware of the asbestos ceilings, proven by DEP permits issued to the landlord (total 83) going back as far as 2003.

My question is is there any history of the court awarding replacement value based on negligence?

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