Loss of rent cover because I rehoused tenant?

by Readers Question

14:19 PM, 25th July 2017
About A year ago

Loss of rent cover because I rehoused tenant?

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Loss of rent cover because I rehoused tenant?

I need some advice about damage which resulted in loss of rent. I own a block of three non purpose built unfurnished flats which all have the same rent.

In February during a particularly bad storm the middle flat, which is in a wing of the property had a leak on the roof and water was coming in to the tenant’s kitchen. It resulted in the ceiling coming down and damaging the kitchen including the units, the flooring, boiler etc . The tenant has been with me for over five years and is a pensioner. Coincidentally the tenant of the top flat had vacated his flat the weekend before and I was negotiating with the agent for a new tenant. I asked the tenant in the damaged flat if he would like to move to the vacant flat rather than stay in a flat with no working kitchen and a lot of mess everywhere. He said he was happy to do that so he moved. He was issued with a new tenancy agreement from the agent.

Eventually in April the loss adjuster turned up and at the end of May I was paid out for the cost of the damage. When I queried if I had loss of rent cover I was told I did. I then asked for three months rent to be paid which I thought was very reasonable of me. I was astounded when the reply came back that as I had put the tenant in another flat and was still receiving rent then I was not financially out of pocket.

I have replied that I don’t see how it matters where I put the tenant as the flat was not habitable. The tenant has a new flat and a new agreement and a new Council tax account. In my thinking it doesn’t matter where I put him I couldn’t rent the damaged flat. I have three flats in the block and need three rents. Maybe I should have put him in a five star hotel for the duration. I have sent a letter of complaint to the Insurance company and am wondering if anyone has any advice before I start with the Ombudsman?

Has anyone else suffered anything similar?

Bridget



Comments

Jason McClean

14:31 PM, 25th July 2017
About A year ago

Hi Bridget

It looks straightforward to me. If you have loss of rent cover for that property, then it is due to you for the period it is vacant/repairs take place. There is a question if the loss of rent is for the block and you rehouse and maintain the rent within the block - effectively you are not losing rent then.

It depends on the claims adjuster and the insurance policy you have. If you have made a complaint through the official channels, that should get to the bottom of it for you.

Darlington Landlord

23:07 PM, 26th July 2017
About A year ago

For what its worth I've had to claim loss of rent on a house divided into 2 flats and also on a terraced house and the loss of rent was for the flat/ house as it was uninhabitable. No questions were asked as to where the tenants had moved. I also got payments for council tax whilst repairs were ongoing. This was a few years ago and I think insurance companies may be trying to minimise claims. Check your policy. Essentially you are not receiving rent for the damaged flat so should be able to claim loss of rent. If you had not moved the tenant you would have let that flat to a new tenant so would be in the same position income wise, i.e. 1 flat with no rent.


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