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Kirkland Landlord Recovers Mid-Six Figures from Property Insurer to Repair Unauthorized Structural Modifications made by Tenant

By November 1, 2022April 23rd, 2024Greg Harper, Thom Williams

After a tenant passed away in one of its properties, a landlord discovered several incomplete and unauthorized modifications made by the tenant which compromised the structural integrity of the building.  The landlord’s property insurer denied coverage, asserting that the modifications were did not constitute covered vandalism because the modifications were not “malicious.”  Harper│Hayes filed a lawsuit against the insurer and obtained a summary judgment order ruling that vandalism coverage “does not require a showing of malicious conduct.”  The insurer settled one month later for an amount that covered the entire repair estimate, lost rent, and the landlord’s attorneys’ fees and costs.