Is a tenant liable for the destruction or injury caused to a tenant's premises by a gas leak?

Saskatchewan, Canada


The following excerpt is from Cherry v. Smith, 1933 CanLII 257 (SK QB):

It is necessary, however, to distinguish between acts of waste, either voluntary or permissive, and cases where the destruction or injury arises purely from accidental causes, or causes for which the tenant is not responsible. It may be difficult at times to draw the distinction, but it must always exist. An illustration of this is seen in the case of Musgrove v. Pandelis [1919] 1 K.B. 413, and [1919] 2 K.B. 43, 88 L.J.K.B. 915. That was a case where a fire originating in the carburetor of an automobile spread to the gasoline tank, and thence to the premises which were completely destroyed. The originating fire was not caused by the negligence of the owner, but its escape was due to the failure to shut off the valve which would have prevented it from reaching the tank, and he was accordingly held liable.

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