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Tenant refuses to pay $8k in medical bills after landlord's son jumped into common dryer

Landowners and tenants often have strained relationships that escalate into situations like these.

Tenant refuses to pay $8k in medical bills after landlord's son jumped into common dryer
Representative Cover Image Source: (L) Pexels | Karolina Grabowska; (R) Reddit | u/LeatherSeveral7614

Landlords and tenants often clash due to landlords feeling they retain absolute control over rented properties. Reddit user u/LeatherSeveral7614 has sparked a debate about the responsibilities of tenants and landlords in a peculiar situation. A tenant in a basement suite faced a baffling demand from their landlord to pay over $8,000 for medical bills after the landlord's child tumbled into a running dryer. This incident raises questions about the lines of responsibility and morality when it comes to such unforeseeable accidents.

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Tima Miroshnichenko
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Tima Miroshnichenko

The tenant described their living arrangement, noting a shared laundry room adjacent to their basement suite. Every week, the landlord unlocks the door connecting the suite to the laundry room, allowing the tenant to access the room for a day. Generally, the tenant closes the door to the laundry room to avoid hearing the noise. In one instance, there was an unanticipated disturbance while the tenant was in the laundry room drying their clothing. The yelling surprised the tenant and they were shocked to see that an ambulance had come to the scene. The tenant soon discovered that the landlord's 4-year-old child had managed to open the dryer and climbed inside.

Unexpectedly, the dryer was defective; it failed to shut off when opened, allowing the child to climb inside. Luckily, the kid managed to escape with no serious injuries. The landlords have requested $8,477.34 for their son's ambulance and hospital bills. The landlord is asking for the money because their kid went on an unexpected journey in the laundry room of the tenant. The tenant is hesitant to take the blame for the child's accident. They contended that since they were already making a sizable rent payment, they should not be responsible for watching the landlord's child. They also stress that the landlord is the rightful owner of the malfunctioning dryer.

The tenant turned to a landlord-oriented forum to seek advice and received mixed responses from people. While some supported the tenant, most people stated that he should just pay the money. They argue that the landowner, having not raised the rent for over a year, deserves the medical bill payment on moral grounds. The comment section of this post was slightly different. Some, like u/OrcEight, firmly supported the tenant, saying, "NTA. Your landlords and the people at the forum are completely wrong. It was not your responsibility to watch the child. They are the ones who were negligent by not watching their 4-year-old child and having a defective dryer."

Image Source: Reddit | u/Bloodrayna
Image Source: Reddit | u/Bloodrayna

u/Ok_Yesterday_6214 echoed this sentiment, adding, "NTA, it's their kid they should have watched and their dryer they should have fixed and their problem they don't pay insurance. I assume your lease doesn't say you should stand there and watch your clothes dry? If not, they have no right to complain."

Image Source: Reddit | u/DoodlingDaughter
Image Source: Reddit | u/DoodlingDaughter

While u/Historical_Divide673 supported the tenant and shared, "Their house, their dryer, their kid…I don't know how anyone could think you were responsible. And who owns a home, makes rental income from it, but doesn’t have health insurance for their kid?? And leaves the kid unsupervised while he climbs into a dryer? They sound irresponsible."

Image Source: Reddit | u/IAmHerdingCatz
Image Source: Reddit | u/IAmHerdingCatz

Editor's note: This article was originally published on November 7, 2023. It has since been updated.

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