Storms Dudley, Eunice and Franklin made an appearance in the UK recently and caused damage to varying degrees in different areas.
Here are some quick answers to what were common questions after the recent storms:
What is covered by the building insurance during a storm?
Basically, the structure, to include walls, roof, and windows. Most policies will not cover outside areas, such as fences, sheds, or gates. As always the landlord should check their policy, as on the odd occasion a landlord may have requested such cover for outside areas. In most cases, the managing agent will not be licensed to make a claim on behalf of a landlord client who will need to make a claim themselves. Insurance companies may require a landlord to provide evidence that the roof etc, has been maintained.
Do landlords have to repair and fix fences/gates if they are blown down?
For a family home, it does NOT fall under the landlord’s statutory obligation (Section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985). However, if the tenant complained to the local council, its highly likely, they would request it is repaired/ replaced under Housing Health and Safety Rating System (security) . If the property is a House in Multiple Occupation, then the landlord has a legal duty under the HMO Management Regs 2006, to maintain and keep in repair, the outside areas.
Can tenants make a claim against the landlord’s buildings insurance for damage to personal possessions?
No, tenants’ possessions are never covered under the building’s insurance. However, If the tenant can prove negligence, ie. roof was in state of disrepair, or the window did not close property before the storm, then they could make a civil claim against the landlord.
A neighbour has claimed that a roof tile or fence panel has caused damage to their car or property. Can they make a claim against the landlord insurance policy?
As a general rule, No. If they can prove negligence, ie. the item was in a bad state or repair before the storm, then they could potentially take out a civil claim against the landlord. In most cases, the advice would be for the neighbour to make a claim against their own insurance policy and let the insurance company contact the landlord, if they believe there has been negligence.
Stay safe but if you have any further questions, please do ask either Andrew or Chris at Hazells on 01284 702626.
Based on article by DWK Consulting. Feb 2022