Freeholder failed to update building insurance

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    Freeholder failed to update building insurance

    I sublet my flat which the freeholder was informed. Also I have informed via WhatsApp the date of move in and tenant name 2 days before they move in. It was read by the freeholder but no response from him. Also right after the tenant moved in he did meet him and talked to him.

    Now I have to claim an expense covered by the building insurance but the freeholder told me my flat is not covered given I did not inform him the date of the tenant’s move in. I was never asked by my freeholder to provide this information either was I informed of this requirement by the insurance company given the building insurance was taken out under the freeholder ‘s sole name , and no relevant docs stating that was sent to me until today upon request...can I still get an insurance coverage in this case or should I go through the legal process to address the freeholder ‘s wrong doing.

    #2
    You need to see the insurance certificate and call the insurer claim line direct. How do you know they really took out cover

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      #3
      I tried calling the insurance company but they will not speak to me as the building insurance was taken out under the freeholder’s name and the freeholder doesn’t want to authorise me to speak to the insurance. The freeholder is selling the property which makes me think he doesn’t not want to claim the insurance or he does not want to inform the insurance change of circumstances ( residential property to a sublet property).

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        #4
        Unless the lease states (very unlikely) that they do not have to take out insurance if you do not inform them of the name of a tenant then not insuring is a serious violation by the freeholder (enough to get a manager appointed by Tribunal). Does the lease actually say that you need to inform FH of the date a tenant moves in and the name of that tenant. If not there is no reason to do that.

        It seems possible the FH forgot to renew the insurance. Again a very serious violation. Have you asked for a copy of the current policy?

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          #5
          AndrewDod,

          Thanks for your response. The lease did not mention about sublet it refers back to a lease taken in 1992 so not very applicable. I did receive the policy schedule previously which indeed mentioned that change of occupier should be informed to the insurance otherwise the insurance might be void. Given it is a standard building insurance I don’t see who live in it really matters but again I think it is the FH’s responsibility to keep leaseholders aware of that and actively update to insurance.

          I did inform the freeholder 1 month before the tenancy starts that I am looking to sublet my flat and the freeholder acknowledges. And 2 days before the tenants moved in I did send the names and move in dates of the tenants in WhatsApp (read by the freeholder). I would imagine the freeholder shall actively request that information from me given he has an obligation to the insurance company.

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            #6
            The freeholder’s argument is that since I never told her the move in date ( although I did inform via Whatsapp) hence it was because of my fault that the insurance is void....but the freeholder knows I am subletting and should reasonably knows the move in date( From WhatsApp) and he never inform me this needs to be pass on to the insurance company until now the tenant live there for a few weeks and there is a leak ....

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              #7
              I know that the freeholder is trying to sell the flat so that makes me think he might not want to claim the insurance as doing that he will need to disclose that in the sale and that might potentially bring him to an inferior position?

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                #8
                I can remember back to when insurers wanted to know the occupation of subtenants as some occupants were considered to be high risk. You need to look at your lease and review what are the formal requirements for subletting. It may be that sending a message by whatsapp doesnt cut it if for example the lease requires you to serve notice and pay a nominal fee of any alienation. Some residential leases require more some less.

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                  #9
                  there is no restriction of sublet in the lease and when I refinance my solicitor has confirmed that a written confirmation from the freeholder is sufficient which I did obtain that via email. Now the freeholder has changed tones and said actually my flat is covered....the freeholder however told me that the water leak and leak trace not covered under the current policy and he has quoted some email from the insurance broker. I am just afraid that the freeholder “fake” or mislead the insurance broker on that to avoid a claim and he is trying to sell his flat... and there seems to be no way for me to get the first hand confirmation from the broker as they only deal with the policy holder

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                    #10
                    that's ridiculous. Remind the freeholder that you have an insurable interest in the policy and he is obliged by law to provide you with a copy of the policy and schedule upon request no more frequently than once in every twelve months.

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                      #11
                      Thanks for the opinion but given the level of unreasonableness of the freeholder I do think that would change his mind. I am surprised that there is no legal access for the leaseholder to communicate directly with the insurance in cases where it is reasonably suspected that the freeholder is not telling the true regarding insurance information. The freeholder is try to sell his flat so it is likely that he does not want to claim the insurance.

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                        #12
                        Leaseholders are entitle to send a written enquiry to the freeholder asking for a summary of insured cover under the building insurance policy and get the reply within 30 days or it becomes a criminal offence..

                        Name and Address of Insurance company /insurance broker ,
                        Policy number and insured period,
                        Policy commencing date
                        Reinstatement value
                        Building insured cover value
                        Public liability insured value
                        Employee liability insured value
                        plus other cover.

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                          #13
                          It sounds like the OP has had the details in this case but what criminal law would be broken by not providing it ?

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                            #14
                            The summary offence is liable to a fine up to £2,500 which is explained in Section 7.2 of this posting :

                            https://www.leaseholdknowledge.com/a...easehold-game/

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                              #15
                              Thanks, the FH did provide the documents of the insurance but he has been neglecting my request to get information from insurance company on the claims ( in fact the FH could have lied about that and he never intended to inform the insurance or give misrepresented information to her own benefits). In this case how can I enforce that the claiming process are carried out fairly?

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