Burned by Scalding Water at Home? Get Free Legal Advice

Compensation for Tenant Burned by Scalding Hot Water From Shower

Mr D was an elderly tenant who was badly scalded by hot water while using the shower in the rented flat that he had recently moved into. Mr D had noticed that the water temperature in the shower was erratic (though never boiling hot), and had asked his landlord to send a plumber round to fix it. No action had been taken however. While using the shower one day, Mr D adjusted the water temperature several times, before it suddenly became scalding hot. Mr D was unable to react quickly enough due to his age and infirmity, and sustained severe burns to his upper body and legs.

He was able to call an ambulance and was taken to a specialist burns unit at a nearby hospital, where he remained for three days while his burn injuries were treated. Apart from the intense pain and incapacity the accident caused, Mr D was advised that he is likely to be permanently scarred by his burn wounds.

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Mr D's daughter got in touch with Bartletts Solicitors on her father's behalf, and our firm went on to represent Mr D in a compensation claim for being burned by scalding water at his rented property. We arranged for a plumber to examine Mr D's immersion heater, and this professional confirmed that the thermostat was defective, meaning that the shower unit could have produced boiling hot water at any point in time.

Given that Mr D had experienced variable water temperature in the shower ever since he had rented the property, and that this had been reported to the landlord, it was clear that the thermostat had been defective prior to Mr D moving in. This meant that the landlord was liable for the tenant's burns and for failing to provide rented accommodation that was in a reasonably safe state to live in. After a few months of correspondence, the landlord acknowledged responsibility for the faulty hot water system, and Mr D later received a cheque for £4,250 in compensation.
Under Section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, landlords are responsible for keeping in repair and proper working order all installations for the supply of water, gas and electricity at rented properties. When a tenant has a heating or water problem, they must report it to their landlord who will then be legally obliged to organise repair work in a timely manner.

This obligation extends to water tanks and pipes, boilers, radiators and similar installations for the provision of heating and hot water. Basins, sinks and baths must also be kept in repair and proper working order by landlords. Heating and hot water problems are sometimes the result of problems with installations located outside the property, such as communal heating systems serving tower blocks, and landlords are also responsible for the maintenance of these central systems if a tenancy began after 1989 (when Section 11 was extended).

All these installations need to be in a state of good repair at the start of a tenancy, otherwise the landlord will be required to bring the property up to standard and maintain it in that state throughout the duration of the tenancy agreement. If a landlord fails to do so, they will be in breach of their obligations to the tenant and liable for any injuries caused by their inaction.
Mr L decided to take legal action after he was injured and had valuable possessions damaged by leaking water at his rented property. Mr L and his family were away for the weekend when one of the mains pipes at the property that had been leaking slowly for some time burst, and water began to drip through the ceiling of the house's living room. The family returned to discover that some furniture and an expensive piece of musical equipment had been irreparably damaged by the leaking water. While Mr L was removing his damaged possessions from the property he slipped on a puddle of water and fell awkwardly, wrenching his lower back and badly bruising his elbow. The leak had been reported to the landlord a few weeks previously, but no repair work had been arranged or carried out. After failing to reach any kind of agreement with his landlord over the injuries he sustained, as well as the damage to his furniture and possessions, Mr L decided to seek legal advice.

Mr L contacted our firm, and having discussed the matter with our lawyers, decided to make a claim against the landlord for the damage done to his personal possessions and the injuries he suffered after slipping on the puddle of leaked water. We went on to argue that the landlord was responsible for the building's structure (including plumbing), as per Section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, and was therefore liable for Mr L's injuries and loss of possessions caused by the leaking water from the burst pipe. The landlord had been informed about the leaking pipe, and could have prevented it from bursting, had prompt repair work been arranged and carried out. We were able to gain an admission of liability and agree a compensation settlement with the landlord's insurers before the matter reached the court stage, and Mr L received £4,500 in compensation.
We have won a variety of cases for clients who have been injured at rented properties, ranging from a claim on behalf of a tenant who fell down poorly lit communal stairs, to a claim on behalf of a child who was injured by discarded building materials at a rented property.
Claiming with us is easy. Get a free no obligation initial consultation about your case, your rights, and our no win no fee agreement. All information can be taken over the phone. Medical treatment is local to you. We aim to keep the claims process short by keeping claims out of court. If your claim does need to go to court it is unlikely that you will need to attend court, as cases settle before the final hearing.
Compensation will pay for private healthcare treatment. It will also cover:

  • Physiotherapy
  • Psychological therapy
  • Expenses (such as the cost of travel to hospital appointments)
  • Loss of income
  • Household adaptations

  • The amount of compensation you receive will depend on the severity of your injuries and the likelihood that you’ll make a full recovery. We’ll seek expert opinions on what care you’ll need to ensure that the compensation we claim will be sufficient.

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