Tenant is an Offshore Worker

by Readers Question

13:53 PM, 6th June 2016
About 4 years ago

Tenant is an Offshore Worker

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Tenant is an Offshore Worker

I was wondering if anyone else was in a similar position to myself. My tenant is an offshore worker who is away for 4 weeks at a time. However recently due to changing work commitments the number of weeks is increasing.offshore worker

My insurance states the property shouldn’t be empty any more than 60 consecutive days however I have been contact by my tenant that he is stuck offshore and it will be 80-100 days before he is able to return.

As far as I am aware no one else has access to the property other than the tenant. I am very much aware I can’t access it, I have no intention to and I do not think my tenant would be keen for me to do so.

However, I am now wondering, going forward how best to handle this situation as he is a good long standing tenant and I don’t wish to end the tenancy.

Any thoughts or advice? Some others must be in a similar position?

Thanks

Martin


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Comments

Jason McClean

11:21 AM, 7th June 2016
About 4 years ago

Hi Martin

I think you need an unoccupied/landlord policy combined. Try 0800-6125764 to speak to our providers here. If they cannot help directly, don't worry, we can get a bespoke policy created for you via another carrier, we will get you sorted I am sure. Just let us know how you get on by posting here.

If you need to speak with me, my number is 07734-113554.

Best

Jason

Martin M

14:53 PM, 7th June 2016
About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Jason McClean" at "07/06/2016 - 11:21":

Hi Jason,
Thank you for the contact details. I called at lunchtime and as yet haven't managed to find an insurance company that can cover the situation. Some will cover 100+ days but once I go through the process they add the caveat that someone must attend the property every 7 days to check it. Which is pretty much the same as my existing policy. I have contacted the tenant and hopeful he will be agreeable to me checking the property until he returns. What I do find interesting & problematic is if he were to refuse I can't legally access the property but yet failure to do so means it has no insurance in place which leaves me at a huge risk. Whilst theoretical at this stage it seems I am legally stuck between a rock and a hard place. It's worthwhile others being aware of this predicament and perhaps covering this in tenancy agreements from the outset.
Regards
Martin

Jason McClean

19:03 PM, 7th June 2016
About 4 years ago

Hi Martin

OK, let's see if we can get this solved. I don't have your number, so can you call Daniel at Orwell on 01473-292800 and say that Jason McClean recommended you speak with him to help get the right insurance.

Daniel is brilliant and if anyone can write a policy like this it is probably him!

But if that doesn't work out then I have yet another throw of the dice...

Puzzler

20:49 PM, 7th June 2016
About 4 years ago

Is he working overseas? I am in the oil industry and you can't be "stuck offshore" for that length of time, In Europe the max is 21 days, he may be on an onshore rotation of up to six weeks overseas and not coming home on his leave but going travelling.

Suggest you ask him if you can pop in to check over the property every few weeks to validate the insurance?

Martin M

21:11 PM, 7th June 2016
About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Puzzler " at "07/06/2016 - 20:49":

Hi Puzzler,
Thanks for the input. He doesn't work in the oil industry. It would be unfair to be specific as to occupation. I have as yet no reason to doubt the issue he is having and its how I get round this situation. I will however be mindful of your suggestion as to alternative reasons for not returning home. Thanks

Seething Landlord

0:09 AM, 8th June 2016
About 4 years ago

Presumably there is a clause in the tenancy agreement that the tenant should do nothing to invalidate the insurance cover so he is technically in breach unless he agrees that you can inspect the property in his absence, which I suspect will be your only alternative to ending the tenancy to protect your position.

Martin M

8:59 AM, 8th June 2016
About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Seething Landlord" at "08/06/2016 - 00:09":

Hi SL,
Thank you for your input. Whilst the tenancy agreement doesn't specifically mention the insurance policy this situation is covered through a few other clauses. If tenant was to refuse access I could then move towards repossession however that is not a quick process and the tenant would possibly be back before then?

Martin M

9:19 AM, 8th June 2016
About 4 years ago

I note citizen advice (Scotland) states 'The landlord has a right to enter the property to check to inspect the state of repair, provided the tenant is given 24 hours notice'
Given the insurance requires an inspection every 7 days whilst property is empty is this how I should proceed? Contacting tenant to advise then proceeding. Although my only concern is if I get no response from tenant or they refuse.

Martin M

16:25 PM, 8th June 2016
About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Jason McClean" at "07/06/2016 - 19:03":

Hi Jason,
I contacted Orwell and policy quoted only requires property checked every 14 days. However if I am checking property I am as well keeping with existing policy. They do offer FLEA cover for the period though.
If I ask the tenant for access and receive no response is it considered reasonable to proceed and carry out a check on the basis my insurance is invalid without doing so?
If the tenant refuses access then it seems unfair I am not able to keep my insurance valid through no fault of my own.

Martin M

10:30 AM, 9th June 2016
About 4 years ago

Hi all,
I managed to speak with the tenant who assures me someone is regularly checking the flat in his absence. I have confirmed the insurance details with him in writing to ensure the policy is not invalidated. Following this I have discovered insurance companies who do cover up to 90 days. Searching "landlord 90 days unoccupied" does display companies who cover this period with a handful not requiring the 7 days inspection internal and external which was my issue.
Whilst my issue is resolved I do find it interesting that if the tenant wasn't getting property checked and refused entry my insurance policy would be invalid but I have no right to do anything about it until I can obtain access via court. Surely this would also apply with possible abandonment of property. You wouldn't be able to contact tenant to confirm access was ok and would need to wait 2 months for access via court. Meaning no 7 day checks being carried out.
Essentially thanks for input from everyone and I will be gladly making a donation to the page.

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