Tenants homeless due to house fire next door but I don’t want to lose them?Make Text Bigger
I rent my property out to four people who are excellent tenants and have made it their home for the past three years. Three weeks ago there was a house fire next door which caused some damage to my roof. My tenants were told by the fire brigade that they couldn’t return to the flat and they were made homeless that day. My tenancy agreement was terminated.
I do not own the freehold and the freeholder is responsible for sorting out the house insurance and they do so via an insurance broker. I have no direct contact with the house insurers which is incredibly frustrating, especially as the freeholders are very inefficient. A loss adjuster did go to the property about a week after the fire. I was away at the time and, from the freeholders, it sounded as if the damage was dangerous and would take months to repair. The freeholders threw around a figure of £80,000 repair work.
I finally saw the flat when I let the surveyor in two weeks later. The damage was nowhere near as extensive as the insurance brokers had made out from their initial viewing. In fact it involves, according to the surveyor, some minor repairs to the roof and decoration due to water damage (from the fire brigade). That was a week ago and I have still heard nothing from the freeholders who would have received the surveyor’s report and could be moving things forward.
My tenants are still homeless and their lives are very difficult at the moment. I am not responsible for housing them (my tenancy agreement is clear about that) but, as a human being, I want them to have their home back as soon as possible and of course do not want to lose them.
So, my questions are, could the freeholder or the insurance brokers be delaying things for any financial gain or is this merely inefficiency? Do they have any legal obligation to speed this process up or can they drag it out for weeks before any actual work occurs? I just can’t believe that four people can be kept homeless due to middle men being inefficient.
Thank you in advance for any advice.
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