Share of Freehold building insurance?

by Readers Question

15:05 PM, 5th September 2018
About 2 months ago

Share of Freehold building insurance?

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Share of Freehold building insurance?

I am the owner of a flat (1 of 4 in a converted house). Each of the owners is also a freeholder.

Recently one of the flat owners decided he no longer wants to contribute to the whole buildings insurance and would like to do his own insurance (for his flat only)!

If he does that then the remaining 3 owners will have to pay extra or if everyone does their own insurance the communal areas won’t be covered.

Has anyone been in this situation before and could offer some advise?

Many thanks

Nick



Comments

Neil Patterson

15:08 PM, 5th September 2018
About 2 months ago

Hi Nick,

My picture is probably over dramatic but shows why an insurer will not insure part of a building only the whole building.

If the other Freeholder purchases his own insurance on top of your buildings insurance it will be made invalid by being double insured.

Nick Farrell

15:29 PM, 5th September 2018
About 2 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Neil Patterson at 05/09/2018 - 15:08
Thanks Neil.

Is there anyway to force the freeholder to contribute to the whole building insurance?

As it stands the costs will have to be split between the 3 freeholders which isn’t right.

Neil Patterson

15:35 PM, 5th September 2018
About 2 months ago

Hi Nick,

I am not an expert in this area, but you should try holding a meeting first.

Please check the Government Leasehold Advisory Service. They are The reference >> https://www.lease-advice.org/

Puzzler

19:04 PM, 5th September 2018
About 2 months ago

You can actually each insure separately as long as you explain the situation, however in the event of a claim for the whole building it is pretty problematic. I used to do that for a particular property but now have block cover. You each would just get your insurance for your three flats either together or separately. It is quite common in Scotland where there is no freehold/leasehold system.

I think the best option is to ask why he wants to insure separately? If it's cost then you need to get some quotes. Several brokers should be able to quote although not all do it.

Danny 10

7:49 AM, 6th September 2018
About a month ago

Hi Nick, sorry if I missed something here, or I am being a little naive, but with the 4 flats and the Freehold is there not service charges and a lease which would stipulate the contributions to be paid from these? Also would I be correct in saying that the freehold is held by all 4 leaseholders, perhaps as a Ltd Co.
But certainly as Neil says check it on LEASE website, they are very good.

Chris Daniel

9:29 AM, 6th September 2018
About a month ago

What does your Insurance company say about ?

Clint

10:28 AM, 6th September 2018
About a month ago

I have two properties where, my flats are individually insured.
In one situation, the lease allows each flat to insure individually. In around 2005, there was a major leak from this flat that caused damage to the flats below and the common parts. This was covered by my insurance as third party claims are covered. Cannot remember wording. I believe most building insurance companies have this.
In the second situation, there has been a breakdown in communication with leaseholders (we had formed an RTM Company) where, the lease states with wording to the effect that the building should be insured as a single policy. I recently had a claim where the emergency services had to gain access to the flat which led to me making a claim.

The loss adjuster had read the lease and stated that there should be one insurance on the building, so I asked the question if this would affect my claim and was informed that it would not however, if it was covered by other party and my insurance, the costs would have to be split by both insurers.
The loss adjuster settled the claim yesterday

Nick Farrell

14:14 PM, 6th September 2018
About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by Danny 10 at 06/09/2018 - 07:49Hi Danny
I recently purchased this property and I’m just getting up to speed with how the building has been run. Yes the freehold is held by the 4 leaseholders but not in a company name. Currently there is no service charge. A ‘pay as you go’ system seems to be in place where when expenses come up they are just split out between the 4 owners, so I’m told. Im guessing this is not the right way to do it? I’m worried that when expenses do come up some of the other freeholders might not pay up. The fact that one of the freeholders doesn’t want to contribute to the whole building insurance makes me think what else will he not want to pay for.

Nick Farrell

14:16 PM, 6th September 2018
About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by Chris Daniel at 06/09/2018 - 09:29
Hi Chris
Not got that far yet. Next person on my list to call!

Seething Landlord

14:51 PM, 6th September 2018
About a month ago

This all sounds a bit odd to me. If the leases have been properly drawn up they should specify the basis on which costs are to be shared or there might be a separate agreement with the management company. In any event the leases or management agreement should define how the cost of repair and maintenance of any part of the building not demised to an individual owner is to be shared, otherwise who is going to take responsibility if for example the roof, foundations or external walls suffer damage? The cost of insuring the building is part of the maintenance costs and should therefore be shared accordingly.

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