Responsibilities for a flooded property occupied by a tenant?

by Readers Question

15:40 PM, 29th December 2015
About 3 years ago

Responsibilities for a flooded property occupied by a tenant?

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Responsibilities for a flooded property occupied by a tenant?

Can anyone advise me on what the landlord responsibilities are towards a flooded property (due to the recent unprecedented weather in the north of England) which has become inhabitable?flood

Do we need to pay for alternative accommodation for the tenant and if so

1. For how long?
2. Does it need to be like for like e.g. bungalow with 2 bedrooms?
3. can the tenant request compensation

Many thanks

Lea



Comments

Puzzler

17:26 PM, 29th December 2015
About 3 years ago

Your buildings insurer should be able to advise

Renovate To let

19:07 PM, 29th December 2015
About 3 years ago

Steve From Leicester

11:33 AM, 30th December 2015
About 3 years ago

Assuming that its a standard Assured Shorthold Tenancy. . . . and assuming that the house has been rendered uninhabitable . . and that you didn't cause the problem (either directly or by negligence), then you have no obligation to rehouse the tenant. Your situation almost certainly ticks all those boxes.

You MAY choose to help the tenant out, and you might be able to recoup some costs from your insurers if you have a proper landlord's policy.

Harsh as it sounds though, if you do, make it clear that you are only doing this to help and have no legal obligation to do so. There's stories of tenants being thoroughly ungrateful and demanding compensation for anything and everything from a landlord whose been good enough to try and help in the first place.

PS If the tenants' personal possessions are ruined and they weren't insured that's their problem and their responsibility, not yours.

Jason McClean

9:45 AM, 2nd January 2016
About 3 years ago

The landlord should have buildings insurance on the property. The tenant needs to insure their own contents.

Put the claims through on the insurance and the underwriters will guide you on what needs to be done, time scales and responsibilities.

It's not a good situation for anyone, so coming to an amicable agreement with the tenant is possibly the best advice.

Jay James

10:23 AM, 2nd January 2016
About 3 years ago

Good morning Lea.

It is funny how coming to an amicable agreement in these situations invariably means you the landlord having to give leeway to the tenant and not the other way around!

Christine McCluggage

11:22 AM, 2nd January 2016
About 3 years ago

Is it sometimes the case that the landlord insurance does not cover flood in high risk flood areas?

Chris Byways

19:04 PM, 2nd January 2016
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Jason McClean" at "02/01/2016 - 09:45":

Hi Jason,
You say it should have buildings insurance. Is it mandatory, or just strongly advisable?

I had our house and contents with NFU and it was getting towards £1k pa, new insurers only £153. I then asked them to insure an annex in grounds, they said they could not cover rental, so tried another co. for the let property only, took premium about £95, then they asked if it was already insured on our house policy, as an after thought, they said can't insure and refunded whole premium. Even though it has it has own council tax band, but I believe can't be sold separately.

So I go to another insurer, that I use, they were happy to insure for £88, for under £100k rebuild and £2m liability and £20k for alternative accom and loss of rent for up to a year and rehousing tenant etc. That seems fine for me, but should I have specifically advised them it was originally covered by my home insurance, or in grounds of this property?

I can't see why it makes a difference?

Paul Fay

13:01 PM, 3rd January 2016
About 3 years ago

Chris Byways - you have an obligation to truthfully answer any questions that your insurer may ask you. You no longer have an obligation of 'utmost good faith' whereby you were historically obliged to declare any information that a prudent underwriter may wish to know.

OP - the terms of the tenancy should make obligations clear. If it's silent I would direct the tenant to their contents insurer which will provide them with their cover for alternative accommodation. I would expect your building insurer would want to scrutinise the tenancy agreement before offering any settlement as an insurer on has a liability if you are legally liable. Your policy should cover your loss of rent.

Jason McClean

15:25 PM, 3rd January 2016
About 3 years ago

Hi Chris

Unlike car insurance, property insurance is not mandatory. But it makes a lot of financial sense - one major claim on a burst pipe, subsidence, flood or even theft can easily be thousands of pounds. The typical price for landlord insurance in the UK is around £150 per property - but that is dependant on post code etc.

Different insurers will have different objectives, strengths and weaknesses. 118's insurers offer a price guarantee on like for like policies, so almost anyone can save money by switching to them.

Not all insurance will include flood cover. If the property is a flood risk area, then you need to get that specialism covered as well - again, try the 118 insurers as they can cover most eventualities. If they can't, contact me, I have a wide range of underwriting and broking suppliers that can cover just about anything and we will do our best to help 118 readers: jason@thepropertyinsurer.co.uk

Hope that helps!

Chris Byways

16:50 PM, 3rd January 2016
About 3 years ago

Yes thanks for reply, I use two different insurers, and another for own house, so will be trying 118. Next renewal. Do you do commercial leased premises as well?

It is clearly an added value / premium situation for the tenant to have a Landlord that covers alternative accomodation in the event of a no blame claim.

Paul yes of course all questions were answered fully and correctly. Not aware of the 'utmost good faith' change though?


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