A Messy Move: What Happens When Your Mover Damaged Your Landlord’s Property

house keys with a keychain of a house

Moving has always been such a stressful task, and it becomes a bigger source of headache when you accidentally damage your landlord’s property while you’re trying to get your stuff out of your soon-to-be old address. But what if you’re not the one who broke that seemingly expensive object?

If your chosen moving service company was at fault, they should handle all the payments. However, it can’t be that simple sometimes. If your mover refuses to pay for the damage, here’s what may happen:

Your landlord may come after you

No landlord would take up the task of doing all the necessary steps to file a claim. It was you who hired the movers and let them into the property. So, it’s only natural for your landlord to think that you’re responsible for everything. While you’re trying to get the movers to pay, you may have to say goodbye to that security deposit.

You’ll have to go over both parties’ insurance

If you got yourself insurance before the big day, that’s good. It’s a responsible thing to do. But here’s the catch: Most insurance providers only cover your goods, not your landlord’s property or building.

So, if there’s any damage, your chosen mover would need to use its general liability insurance. In the case of a vehicle damage, its auto insurance would apply. As some moving companies often only have cargo and auto insurance, it’s best to do some research before hiring a mover. Don’t expect that all movers have general liability insurance. While many areas require movers to have insurance before getting their license, still, not everyone has one.

men placing things inside the van

Search the U.S. Department of Transportation’s licensing and insurance page and see if the companies you’ve shortlisted are there. This has all the information about the types of insurance different companies may have.

If movers don’t have insurance, that’s a red flag. It may indicate that they’re not operating legally. It goes without saying that it’s going to be difficult to ask them for compensation in case of damage.

You can attempt to track down your mover

If you chose to work with an illegal mover, your chances for getting reimbursements are very slim. You may have chosen them just to save a few dollars, but after all the damage, is it still worth it?

You can inform them that you’re planning to bring the issue to a small claims court. This may help with your situation, but if it’s not enough, do the necessary work and file your claim. However, this may only be possible if you have their address. Even those companies that appear legal may not have their official location listed on their website. This makes it difficult or even impossible to track them down. But if you have their details, go over all the documents you signed and see if you signed a liability waiver.

Talk to a lawyer and see if you can ask for a letter threatening litigation. In many cases, this could work well to resolve the situation by negotiation. Don’t forget to take photos of all the damage incurred for evidence.

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