You need to check with a local attorney because the laws in your state may differ from ours.In general,contractors are not usually legally responsible for theft that occurs on your property unless you can prove legally negligent behavior on the contractors part.You should read the contract you signed to see if they have a limited liability clause,if any.
Kellen Driscol they are absolutely to blame. It is their responsibility to not “lose” pieces they are working on. You didn’t call them out to make it worse. I would ask them what their plan was for replacing the part that was stolen from them while this was under their supervision. They neglected to keep it safe. Of course someone was going to take some free metal siting around. I would ask for their insurance if they don’t want to cooperate. You shouldn’t have to pay more to pay for their mess up
Originally posted by @Kellen Driscol:
I had a mobile welder come out and work on a staircase. They cut the steel handrail off and apparently left it near the staircase at the back of the property. They recently went back and called me to tell me that it was stolen. Is this my responsibility or theirs or how should I proceed here?
I am in the Tampa Bay, Florida area.
That's a tough one. The item itself is an exterior item. It's not like they left a stove outside or something to that effect. So it being on your property & then stolen from your property being an exterior item one can argue they aren't at fault. However, a capable contractor would know that metal is a highly target item for theft as it can be scrapped. The cost of a court case is too high for both you & the contractor to bother with so I think you'll have to work it out amongst yourselves. I imagine the contractor is thinking that you paid him to weld, not store & transport your railing.
Thanks for the responses. This is indeed a tough situation I definitely feel that the expense should not fall completely on me. We are going to speak tomorrow about it hopefully they will be willing to work something out.
Well I am a contractor , once materials are delivered to a jobsite theft is not our responsibility
Sounds fishy to me. I mean come on. A mobile welder not knowing a huge hunk of steel would be a theft target since they weren't done working on it? I'm assuming you wanted it welded back in?
I think welder is responsible if he did not ask you where to store the item. If you told him it was ok to store it in the backyard, it is your fault. That's just my moral compass, not based on any legal understanding.
It will depend on whether you authorised the contractor to leave the railing unprotected on the property. If you did you take on the responsibility for the loss. If the contractor left it their on his own accord he was negligent and should be held responsible for the loss.
How much $$ are we talking?
If they left the item in a reasonably secure area, then in my opinion, its on you....if they stupidly left it in plain obvious site for anyone to just wander by and walk away with it, I'd be pissed and getting them to pay for it
All if you might like to know that I walked across the street and found the railing in the neighbors yard! Took that sucker back and welded it back in!
I tend to work with the same folks all time. Every now and again we have theft. Usually, we work things out between us. Sometimes they have something at their shop, or I will have something or I go re buy it. They usually take care of me on the invoice at the end. It works for me.
Usually, when I have a theft, it is the neighbors. When we have theft, I look at neighbors first. Had one neighbor who thankfully moved and that landlord has a better tenant. I have not had near the problem with theft, once he left. Amazing when one person moved, the crime in the area goes down.
My next question, did you speak to the neighbor?