This scenario is based on a real life event but is a purely hypothetical question (because this isn't remotely worth going to court or even arguing over). The situation seems surprisingly complicated, so it made me curious what, if anything, the "legal" answer may be. Consider the following scenario:
- Tenant rents out a house which comes with a washer+dryer.
- Lease specifically stipulates that Tenant is welcome to use washer/dryer but that Owner is not responsible for fixing them if they break.
- Tenant moves in and discovers that the washing machine is, in fact, broken (it never worked even before Tenant moved in)
- Conveniently, Owner recently purchased the property and has a seller's warranty available, which will cover repairs on the appliances (including washer/dryer)
- In an attempt to be helpful, Owner calls the company that provides the warranty. The washer is declared dead and a new washing machine is provided by said company.
- The warranty requires a deductible for this replacement. Since Owner declared that they would not be responsible for fixing the washer/dryer, they refuse to pay the deductible for the visit. Tenant pays for the deductible on Owner's Warranty.
- If it matters, the deductible is less than the cost of the replacement washing machine.
In short, the owner stated they would not pay for repairs or replacement on washer/dryer. As stated in the lease, when the washer broke the owner did not pay anything for the new washing machine - the tenant did. However, the owner's warranty was still used to acquire the new washing machine. Therefore, who owns the washing machine?