Legal Question in Real Estate Law in Virginia

Landlord Liability

This is the scenario: Vacant house with new tenants to take possession August 1, however had already moved a few item in. Back door left unlocked by tenant. Small children enter thru back door, discover paint and procede to paint inside of house. Fortunately children not harmed. Who is liable?

Asked on 7/26/01, 6:44 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Glenn R. Tankersley Regency Legal Clinic
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Re: Landlord Liability

Who is liable?

Whoever left the door unlocked, of course.

Provided, however, it depends on whether there are any measurable damages. If the place was going to be painted anyway, I would guess the only damages would be the value of the amount of paint that was wasted.

Any negligence claim (which this seems to be) depends on three things:

An act of negligence by an identifiable party;

Damages measurable in dollars and/or cents; and

Causation linking the two previous elements together.

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Answered on 7/29/01, 2:22 am

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