Jump to content


Help! Rent refund - defective premises + no LL insurance/ no lender consent?


Recommended Posts

Family member rented a house for 3y on a AST from start 2018. 

Mid-2019 there was an issue with flood damage - through faulty pipes/ builders work - which occurred whilst the property was unoccupied during a 2w vacation.

a) it took 13 months for the LL to start any repairs (Sept 20) and further 3 months to rectify (Xmas 20)

b) it caused the loss of the use of one bedroom and one bathroom

c) it caused damage to tenant's expensive clothing

 

The property was 4 bed/ 2 bath house in a nice location and an expensive rental.   

The flood damage made it a 3 bed/ 1 bath house.

Tenant brought the flood damage to the attention of the LL immediately. 

Various emails to/fro regarding builders and damage and loss of use of rooms etc.  The builder who had carried out original refurbishment for LL came to view but failed to return to do the repair works...

Tenant didn't want to offset  rent to sort the repairs as understood that could jeopardise the tenancy.  Yet LL took 13 months to even start the repairs.   

Tenant paid the same amount of rent throughout.    Yet they lost the use of 2 rooms.  Effectively paying an inflated price through no fault of their own..  They would never have agreed to pay as much for a 3 bed/ 1 bath property. 

How can Tenant now ask for reimbursement?

Is it possible to make a claim based on the loss of 2 rooms for apx 16 months?

How would/ could they calculate that?

The rent was a lofty £875/w...

 

Tenant wanted to move earlier but covid and lockdowns prevented moving  - until now (just).

 

LL didn't want the repairs to be done via insurance. 

Although they did ask Tenant to make a claim on their own contents insurance for clothes damage....

It wasn't clear why LL didn't contact insurance company to organise loss adjuster/ claim - but Tenant didn't query.    However, now it has come to light that LL has a mortgage.   Guessing here - but potentially LL did not have the consent of the building society to rent out the property - which would breach the terms of the mortgage and invalidate any regular insurance policy.  And this maybe is why LL did not go through insurance.

The Agent has 'butted in' and stated that LL is not required to have "legal insurance" to rent out a property - although he does always advise LL to get buildings insurance and tenants to get contents insurance"...   (seems he is unaware of legal requirement of LL to alert lender!!)

How would Tenant ascertain if LL had correct insurance and the consent of the bank?

If they didn't have correct permissions would this give Tenant any extra legal leverage over getting reimbursement?

 

Would any claim fall under the 'Defective Premises Act 1972?

Or is there another Landlord/ Tenant Act which would find the LL dereliction of duty/ responsibility?

 

Be grateful for advice here.   Thanks...

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

If you had a contract to enjoy a certain benefit – the entire house including two bedrooms – and if because of the landlord's lack of action, you are deprived of the entire benefit then I'm not sure that there is any problem in calculating your loss and then suing for that amount of money.

I'm not sure that you need to know any details of an insurance or the mortgage et cetera – although of course knowing who the mortgage was with might help you to put some extra pressure on the landlord.

You can find out a lot more about the ownership of the property and any charges against it by looking at the land registry web search. There is a fee.

Are you still at the property?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks

Family member moved out last week.

They checked Land Registry upon my advice and yes discovered there is a charge listed to a building society

 

How would one correctly calculate an appropriate loss?

Would one divide the monthly rent by the amount of rooms to gauge a room value?  Then calculate 2 rooms x 16 months to generate an appropriate amount?  Or is there a better calculation to use?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Might be better to base it on square metres – but if you have moved out, then I suppose that you haven't measured the rooms before you left

Link to post
Share on other sites

The FP is online   Total = 1620sqf

Damaged rooms apx 220sqf

 

Calculating rental £s by total sqf I get a £/sqf. 

Multiplying £/sqf by the reduced sqf to get an apx rental they should have paid?

I tried it that way.  Worked out apx £500/m reduction

But current rental prices for 3bed/1 bath houses in same area are currently priced 1k/m less.

So what would be the fairest calculation?

 

 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Tell us about the damage room. Was it a significant room? A double, single, boxroom?

Bathroom – was it an ensuite bathroom or was it a main communal bathroom?

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Three floors terraced house

G/f - 2 rooms: kitchen and reception room + tiny wc

1/f - 4 rooms: 3 bedrooms and 1 bathroom

2/f - 2 rooms: 1 bedroom and ensuite bathroom 

 

The 2/f bathroom pipes failed - flooded one bedroom on 1/f.   This meant the 2/f bedroom no longer had an ensuite. 

It took LL 13months to send builders round.  A further 3months before it was a correctly working bathroom. 

 

One bedroom on 1/f flooded and unable to use for 16months.

 

The 1/f bathroom became the only bathroom in the house for 16months.

 

This 1/f bathroom also had pipe issues and for 3months flooded the g/f kitchen.

For 3months water flooded through the ceiling/ light fixtures before a builder fixed that leak.  A health and safety (electrocution) issue for 3 months.   

For 13months the holes in the ceiling remained - before the builder came to start works.

 

Tenant had the flooded bedroom full of designer clothes.  Some items were salvaged by specialist cleaning; some were ruined.  Emails to/fro Tenant/LL. LL asked if Tenant could claim via own contents insurance and mentioned covering extra costs - but to date nothing has been done - no content insurance claim or £s from LL.   AST specified items brought into the premises should be insured by Tenant.   However, given this was a LL defective premises issue - Tenant not sure if this issue should be totally covered by LL ???  As in would the '72 Defective Premises Act cover any claim by Tenant for loss/damage of their possessions??

 

Have researched a bit more since earlier.

Seems that LL bought the property with a residential mortgage and lived in it for 2-3y before refurbishment.  Since then (5y) it has been rented.

The building society listed on Land Registry has a website which states that consent can be given for up to 1y rentals for a nominal fee and LL insurance must be taken out.  For longer rentals the b.s. states the loan product should be changed to a BTL.  Land Registry shows no such change in charge details.

Thus it seems - although w/o absolute confirmation yet - that LL has been breaching the mortgage terms for last 5y and didn't have the required insurance either.

 

 

Edited by HP Mum
Link to post
Share on other sites

Has this question got anything to do with this thread that you started up some time ago?

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Same relative - different rental !

This is the next rental after that issue (relative new to rentals having been a home owner most of adult life until things went pear-shaped).

Link to post
Share on other sites

HP Mum

 

As in the link Bankfodder has posted in post#8 (which I assisted with at that time) in that same link I asked you that it would be better if the relatives registered with CAG rather than getting the information from a third party i.e. you.

 

I will ask again that it is better for those relative to register with CAG and start a Topic on this as it can be hard getting the correct information from a third party i.e. you and if they can't can you give a reason why? (last time they were unwell)

 

You also say they are new to this as previously being a Home Owner but the length of time you have been with CAG you could have advised them to look at CAG and register as there is a lot of advice on Private Renting and Guides i.e.

Guides look at post#4 &5 of above link

 

I will say it again it would be better for those relatives to Register with CAG

 

How to Upload Documents/Images on CAG - **INSTRUCTIONS CLICK HERE**

FORUM RULES - Please ensure to read these before posting **FORUM RULES CLICK HERE**

I cannot give any advice by PM - If you provide a link to your Thread then I will be happy to offer advice there.

I advise to the best of my ability, but I am not a qualified professional, benefits lawyer nor Welfare Rights Adviser.

Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Stu

Relative is struggling in many ways.   I can help to a degree as I have been a LL and have also been involved in disputes which involved studying property law.  As its family I'm happy to help.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi

 

You still have not answered why the relatives can not Register on CAG as it is best to get the information from them as you should be aware being registered with us for some years rather than getting the information from a third party.

 

 

 

 

How to Upload Documents/Images on CAG - **INSTRUCTIONS CLICK HERE**

FORUM RULES - Please ensure to read these before posting **FORUM RULES CLICK HERE**

I cannot give any advice by PM - If you provide a link to your Thread then I will be happy to offer advice there.

I advise to the best of my ability, but I am not a qualified professional, benefits lawyer nor Welfare Rights Adviser.

Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi

 

Did they have Contents Insurance and have they taken the issue up with their Contents Insurance Company? 

 

Were these issue with the flooding and Health & Safety issue reported to the Councils Private Housing Department at the time as they could have made the Landlord carry out emergency repairs and if not done carried out enforcement action on the Landlord?

 

 

 

 

How to Upload Documents/Images on CAG - **INSTRUCTIONS CLICK HERE**

FORUM RULES - Please ensure to read these before posting **FORUM RULES CLICK HERE**

I cannot give any advice by PM - If you provide a link to your Thread then I will be happy to offer advice there.

I advise to the best of my ability, but I am not a qualified professional, benefits lawyer nor Welfare Rights Adviser.

Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

Link to post
Share on other sites

HP Mum

 

I also forgot to ask what was the Deposit for this property the recently left? 

 

Could you also update the Topic Ilinked to in post#10 as we don't know what has happened with that/outcome?

How to Upload Documents/Images on CAG - **INSTRUCTIONS CLICK HERE**

FORUM RULES - Please ensure to read these before posting **FORUM RULES CLICK HERE**

I cannot give any advice by PM - If you provide a link to your Thread then I will be happy to offer advice there.

I advise to the best of my ability, but I am not a qualified professional, benefits lawyer nor Welfare Rights Adviser.

Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

As per post 1 - the LL did ask tenant to make a claim on their contents insurance. 

Tenant didn't make a claim as they had hoped the LL would make a claim via LL insurance and reimburse them that way.  Specifically Tenant did not want their premium to go up and thought that it should be an issue that LL could handle.

Having read the AST i see there are 2 clauses of interest:

 

4.2 - to keep the Premises including all furniture fixtures fittings and household effects specified in the inventory fully and comprehensively insured against fire and other risks which are normally covered by a householder's comprehensive policy and such other risks as the LL shall desire such insurance specifically excludes property introduced to the Premises by the Tenant which is at the Tenant's own risk and responsibility

 

and

 

4.3 - to return to the Tenant any Rent payable for any period while the Premises are rendered uninhabitable by fire flooding or natural disaster other than if such fire flooding is caused by the Tenant's own equipment and/or negligence

 

4.2 - clearly states the Tenant's possessions in the property are there at Tenant's own risk.  Meaning Tenant should have own contents insurance.   Would this absolutely mean that Tenant was wrong not to have made their own contents insurance claim?   Or would there be a way round this from a defective premises perspective?  And/or because the LL did not have LL insurance or permission from bank to rent premises?

As Tenant has moved the contents insurance policy was cancelled.   Is there ever any option to contact an insurance company re a claim in hindsight??   Or once you cancel the policy that's it?

 

4.3 - Indicates that Tenant could ask for a rent rebate.   The whole property was not made uninhabitable - but rooms were.  Would this clause effectively cover the rooms made uninhabitable/ unusable for a period of time and allow Tenant to ask for rent rebate?? 

 

Furthermore Clause 7 of the AST:

The Tenant will give notice in writing to LL or agent immediately of any defects in either the exterior or interior of Premises of which the T knows or ought reasonably to know and for which the LL owes a duty of care to the T and any 3rd parties by virtue of the provisions of the Defective Premises Act 72 or any other statutory provision and the Tenant shall indemnify the LL for any loss he may suffer by reason of the T not giving notice.

 

Tenant did put in writing to LL immediately.

It would not ever have been on the Tenant's mental radar to consider contacting the council private housing dept.

I did not know there were any issues regarding this tenancy until recently - would not have known to have offered advice until now.

 

The deposit is placed with the TDS.

It was a value of under £4k 

 

 

Edited by HP Mum
Link to post
Share on other sites

See what other people think but my understanding is that you claim from the insurer who covered your possessions at the time.

 

And that the time limit for claiming could be up to six years from the incident, but I don't suppose they're going to be very happy to hear about it two years on. You'll need to explain the reasons for the delay, I would imagine.

 

HB

 

 

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Thanks HB.  That's useful to know.

This gives Tenant a good reason to ask Agent to provide LL insurance details.   Then Tenant can raise the question of clause 4.3 and claiming a rent reimbursement via LL insurance. 

 

If LL didn't have bank permission to rent that is one issue for them.  But more importantly if LL didn't have proper LL insurance then their policy would be void - which would mean no rent reimbursement via insurance, only via personal funds. 

 

I understand LL wants to sell the property as covid has allegedly negatively impacted their finances.  So I doubt they will be bothered about the mortgage company potential disapproval.   And if they sell quickly they won't be bothered about the lack of valid insurance either - they'll just settle out of sale proceeds.     But if the sale process takes longer - I just think Tenant should get the ball rolling on clause 4.3 rent rebate claim asap...

Edited by HP Mum
Link to post
Share on other sites

Insurance policies will state the time period required to make a claim.  The reason the Insurance place a time limit, is the longer it takes to resolve an issue, the more expensive the claim may be.

We could do with some help from you.

PLEASE HELP US TO KEEP THIS SITE RUNNING EVERY POUND DONATED WILL HELP US TO KEEP HELPING OTHERS

 

 Have we helped you ...?         Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

 

If you want advice on your thread please PM me a link to your thread

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 Caggers

    No registered users viewing this page.


  • Have we helped you ...?


×
×
  • Create New...