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Insurance claim via freeholder what are my rights here ?


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Writing on behalf of a friend who owns a ground floor flat in a purpose built block, there is an issue with raw sewage anytime there is a blockage in the system. All the waste from the flats above end up at my friend's flat.

the situation has got him worried and traumatised. Whenever it happens the entire floor is flooded with raw sewage and the bathroom literally returns sewage via the sink and bath, I advised him to get in touch with the freeholders and MP to make a complaint, it happened just before Xmas last year and this time around he called the emergency line the freeholder provided, sadly as a tenant is living at the property it complicates matters, the tenant is pregnant and decided to clean the flat rather than temporary accommodation in an hotel that was offered.

 

The freeholders asked for a claim to be made, the loss adjusters came around and offered to lift off the laminate and dry the subfloor which is concrete.

My friend is worried that if the entire laminate is removed they will definitely get damaged and he doesn't have spares, he prefers a pay off based on cost of replacing the floor in the affected areas that the insurance company identified, the hallway and one room only. He wants to refurbish the flat in 2 years and use the opportunity to have LVT installed everywhere, the insurance company aren't keen to pay a settlement and my friend wants to know his rights in a case like this because he sees no point in replacing a hallway and a room when the entire 3 bed flat has had sewage overflowing twice in 3 years.

 

Thanks in advance

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Sounds like a drainage report is required to identify the problem and carry out any works required, to stop this from happening again.  The drainage installed may be inadequate or be damaged.  Pointless having work done to flooring, unless there is confidence the drainage system is in perfect working order.

 

In regard to the claim, the Insurers should pay out for the monetary value of the repairs/replacement of items that were damaged.  The Insurers will obtain repairs/replacement at a cost below what is generally available, so the amount may be less than any quotes your firiend might obtain.

 

 

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Thanks for this, we are pursuing the 2 fronts. Fixing the underlying issue and having the floor situation resolved. Now, the insurers are keen on sending thier folks in. It complicates matters as the tenant doesn't want works at the moment, but at the same time the issue does need to be resolved. How can we draft a letter informing the insurers that we want a settlement rather than repairs.

 

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13 minutes ago, mantis shrimp said:

Your friend should take a sensible attitude. This is clearly something that needs to be remedied. It may well also affect others in the block. 

I do not understand this.

He is not against the issue being resolved, he just doesn't want the floors removed in a tenanted property knowing fully well that the laminate will disintegrate once taken out and he has no spares.

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5 minutes ago, mantis shrimp said:

So he IS against the problem being fixed. 

Not that I am aware of, the removal of the floor has nothing to do with fixing the underlying problem. They are 2 separate things, for the freeholder to fix the underlying issue with foul sewage disposal the floor doesn't need to be taken out. My friends floor was damaged as a result of sewage ingress the last time the issue raised its ugly head.

 

He just wants to fix his floor at his own time when the tenant moves out/is evicted, and not whilst the tenant is staying there, hence the reason why he prefers a payoff for the affected areas so that he can replace it at a later date.

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normally if a property is tenanted and there is an issue which causes the tenant not being able to occupy it for a temporary period, the landlord will have Insurance to cover the costs of needing to find the tenant alternative accommodation.

 

I can totally understand your friends thought process and if they believe it is easier to just ask the Insurers for a cash settlement, they should do as follows.   1) get 2 quotes to cover the costs of the works that need doing 2) send the quotes to the Insurers explaining the circumstances, that the current tenancy is expected to end within x period and it is the intention to carry out works to the property. 3) as the property is tenanted,  there is a requirement to both minimise any inconvenience to the tenant and also keep the costs/works to a minimum required.

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1 hour ago, unclebulgaria67 said:

normally if a property is tenanted and there is an issue which causes the tenant not being able to occupy it for a temporary period, the landlord will have Insurance to cover the costs of needing to find the tenant alternative accommodation.

 

I can totally understand your friends thought process and if they believe it is easier to just ask the Insurers for a cash settlement, they should do as follows.   1) get 2 quotes to cover the costs of the works that need doing 2) send the quotes to the Insurers explaining the circumstances, that the current tenancy is expected to end within x period and it is the intention to carry out works to the property. 3) as the property is tenanted,  there is a requirement to both minimise any inconvenience to the tenant and also keep the costs/works to a minimum required.

Thanks for this, I will inform him.

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