Malicious damage – not insured?

Malicious damage – not insured?

10:12 AM, 27th January 2023, About A year ago 7

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Hello, I recently had a tenant who stopped paying rent and we did eventually manage to get her to leave on her own accord. She did however decide to smash the house (and contents) up prior to her and her young children’s departure and in the process cause over £10,000 worth of damage.

We contacted the police who said they could not issue a crime number or follow up on the issue for criminal damage as they had no evidence it was her who caused the damage (despite her being the sole tenant with her 2 children).

We obviously had no video evidence of her going nuts with hammers, spray paint and dog excrement etc.

That would of course be against her human rights to capture her on cameras!

Our insurance company have since refused to pay out for any damage caused as we cannot get a crime number and this is one of their policies to consider any claim.

Who would have guessed that!

They also said that I am not covered for malicious damage if caused by the tenant and am only covered if someone else breaks into the property.

Has anyone else experienced such issues and resolved them with their insurance company?

I would be very interested to hear anyone’s advice.

It is also worth checking your own insurance policies and the wording around malicious damage.

It seems like any tenant can smash up your investment and unless you have video evidence (which would no doubt be against their privacy rights) they can walk away scott free and leave you seriously out of pocket.

Thank you,


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Chris Bradley

12:02 PM, 27th January 2023, About A year ago

Firstly the police have admitted that there is no proof that the damage was caused by the tenant.
You do not know the damage was caused by her- so a report of criminal damage should be made to the police.
They will be reluctant to issue a crime number because it will remain unsolved, or they will investigate and prove it's the tenant.
You should report it to the police again and request a crime number. If there is damage to doors this will provide evidence to the insurance company that it is a break in. Also doors could have been left open by tenant and someone else entered and caused the damage. No one really knows and this is perhaps the tack you need to take


13:22 PM, 27th January 2023, About A year ago

The same thing happened to me a few years ago.
I experienced the same apathy from the police and I had to complain to a senior officer before they would log it as malicious damage.
I insisted they log it and provide me with a crime reference because I knew without it the Insurers would refuse to pay out.
When I reported the matter to my Insurer they instructed a Loss Adjuster, the person who came to see me was unqualified, and he tried to tell me it wasn't covered.
When I asked him to show me the wording in the policy that specifically excluded this damage he couldn't because he didn't even have the policy wording with him.
I complained to my Insurance Broker who took the matter up with the insurer who agreed to pay.
Don't back down you have to fight tooth and nail to get them to pay up.


14:15 PM, 27th January 2023, About A year ago

I had a commercial tenant cause ten thousand pounds worth of damage. I reported it to the insurance company (not the police) who then appointed an assessor. I could have claimed twice the amount as they'd flooded the place but I wasn't greedy and the assessor was happy with that. The insurance paid up no probs.
I suppose that the moral of the story is check what the policy covers before signing up.


14:17 PM, 27th January 2023, About A year ago

There is an old but still relevant thread on this subject.
I can only repeat the advice given above by John and Chris. Damage has been caused which is obviously not accidental so the police MUST take a report of criminal damage even if they cannot solve the case.

Steve Hards

15:30 PM, 28th January 2023, About A year ago

I recall seeing a TV programme about loan sharks where a single parent who was unable to pay her ballooning loan had her flat trashed as punishment. It's not an excuse, of course, but another possible explanation. But as TheMaluka says "Damage has been caused which is obviously not accidental so the police MUST take a report of criminal damage even if they cannot solve the case."


8:12 AM, 30th January 2023, About A year ago

Not sure why the police won't issue a number, if your home was burgled they would not need to know who did it. OK they may not pursue the tenant for criminal damage but I think they have to record the incident. I would try again. It won't help if they do not cover you for the damage anyway of course


12:05 PM, 4th February 2023, About A year ago

Suggest you check your insurance policy. Is malicious damage by tenant specifically excluded?

If not, you have a chance of claiming if you are covered for "malicious damage" generally.

Push back on the insurers regarding the need to notify police - you appear to have used your best endeavours. Have you got good photographic evidence of the damage and perhaps a statement from neighbours?

Identify what the damage was, and how you can demonstrate that there was an intention to cause damage. There is case law and the principle of "mens rea" (intention to act maliciously) as well as statutory law Malicious Damage Act 1861, Criminal Damage Act 1971.

The lawyers may want to add their opinion here!

Good luck.

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