9:23 AM, 20th September 2021, About 2 years ago 51
We own a small bungalow that we rent out via an agent. We picked a local agent as the property is too far away from our home and neither of us has the specialist knowledge to self manage.
Over the Bank Holiday, we received a call from the agent to say overnight the property had been on fire and was uninhabitable. My husband spent 4 hours fighting through Bank Holiday traffic to find the fire officer racking through the burnt out garage, the tenants in tears and the agent holding the keys and latest electricity certificate.
The agent then told the tenants that our insurance policy covered temporary accommodation, storage of their goods and transport of their goods to their new accommodation. (The garage was destroyed plus one bedroom, the kichen/bathroom /lounge/master bedroom have scorched ceilings but the furniture etc is fine).
I contacted my insurance company who arranged temporary accommodation and a loss adjuster was instructed. The loss adjuster arrived two days later and we gave her a copy of our AST. She read it and informed us that the tenants were not covered in any way shape or form by our insurance as there are no clauses in the AST stating that such cover was to be provided by the landlord – despite those clauses being in our insurance policy.
Our tenants have now had to go into emergency local authority accommodation and they have abandoned their furniture in the bungalow.
Had the clauses been in the AST the tenants would have had 2 years rental cover in another property, they would have had to carry on paying the rent for my property and the agent would still be getting her management fee.
So the moral of the story is to have a good read of your agent’s AST and find an agent who is aware of the legal liabilities that the AST covers.
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