Tenant’s damaged electrical goods uninsured

by Readers Question

8:51 AM, 6th June 2019
About A year ago

Tenant’s damaged electrical goods uninsured

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Tenant’s damaged electrical goods uninsured

I have just had a major flood in my downstairs flat, my insurance has agreed to pay for new kitchen bathroom with no problem, but contents are not covered.

However, the disabled tenant has had all his electrical goods destroyed (this was a major flood raining in flat) he is not insured. The flood was from a burst pipe in the let flat above. I have contacted the agent of the owner and sent photos and prices of items damaged and offered to replace all for a settlement figure of £1000.

The landlord has told his agent not to give any details to me and he will not pay or supply me with details of his insurer (it was his fault due to his guys doing a poor job on fixing original leak from his flat) and will not respond.

Any ideas on the way forward? Can I charge the Agent? Can I insist on Insurers details?

Any help or suggestions (legal ones) would be appreciated.

Ray



Comments

Jason McClean

10:12 AM, 6th June 2019
About A year ago

Hi Ray

Unfortunately, you and the tenant have no recourse to the owner of the flat above - he does not insure your property or your tenant's contents.

The owner of the flat above has no easy to discern legal liability to your tenant. If your tenant would like to pursue legal liability for the damage, then he will need good solicitors and deep pockets. As well as being prepared to lose. How can you hold the flat owner responsible for an accidental escape of water? How can you prove he has been negligent?

This goes to show the value of having your own insurance. Your insurers have paid for the damage to your property as is their legal obligation. It's up to them if they want to pursue the owner of the flat above, but most likely they will not for the reasons stated above.

If your tenant had contents insurance, then they would have replaced his items for him. Without it, he has limited options and I suggest would need to take legal advice.

It's a shame, when the average contents insurance policy costs around £76 per year for £5000 contents cover. It really is a false economy to not buy it.

I wish I could be more positive but hope the direct response helps to clear things up.

Jason McClean

Ian Narbeth

14:04 PM, 6th June 2019
About A year ago

Ray
Your tenant may have a claim against the owner of the flat above or his negligent contractor. However, as Jason points out instructing lawyers is costly and uncertain. Any claim is against the owner/contractors not their insurers. If you have the time and inclination to help your tenant I suggest you help him draft a typed letter before action (LBA) to the owner and a separate one to the contractors if you can identify them setting out the basis of the claim and the full cost of replacing all the items damaged. State that the contractors have been negligent and the owner is responsible for choosing negligent contractors. Get figures e.g. from Amazon for the cost of replacements.
Tell the owner to notify insurers immediately to avoid invalidating their insurance. Your tenant should say he will bring a Money Claims Online (MCOL) if the claim is not admitted within 14 -21 days. Send it by recorded delivery.
The fees are modest https://www.gov.uk/make-court-claim-for-money/court-fees. With the LBA send a separate letter to the owner/contractor and mark it "Without Prejudice". In that letter offer to settle at say 75% of the figure in your LBA if the claim is admitted and paid before the claimant has to issue the MCOL. This should force a formal response.

Cathie Hawkins

21:45 PM, 7th June 2019
About A year ago

It is your tenants’ responsibility to insure their ‘stuff’. That is what contents insurance is.


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