landlord wrongly charging for 'loss of rent' insurance?

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    landlord wrongly charging for 'loss of rent' insurance?

    Hi, I'm new to this forum but have been having various trouble with the freeholder to my flat for some time.. hopefully someone can help me with this latest one

    I have a 999 year full maintenence lease on a maisonette. My maisonette is above a shop which has the freehold to the builing. I am bound by the lease to pay 2/3 of the insurance premium, this is the only service charge I am liable for and it specifically states 'buildings insurance' in the covanent.

    When the landlord aquired the freehold he sent me bills for insurance which i paid but didnt supply me with copies of the policy upon request, this went on for years.

    I now have a copy of the policy and it shows additional cover for 'loss of rent' as he rents out the shop. I belive I am not liable to pay 2/3 of this cover as it is not buildings insurance so have written to him to ask him to re-calculate without this amount included. He has refused, saying I must pay it.

    Back when the landlord bought the freehold my insurance cost doubled, I thought this was because he changed the use of the shop from retail to tattooist, which I am guessing has higher risks. Has anyone any advice about this?

    #2
    Loss of rent insurance is Landlords OWN personal insurance, and YOU do not
    benefit whatsoever.

    Tell him to stuff it, and you want back payment.
    The amount will be small, but over a few years may be welcome.

    It's like charging the passengers in your car for insurance that benefits
    only you.
    Loss of use of car, where they give you use of a car while yours is being
    repaired.

    Tell him he is wrong, and you will see him in court ( That just may work )

    R.a.M.

    Comment


      #3
      You need to read the wording of your lease concerning buildings insurance. Does the lease say the Lessor has the right to decide what insured cover shall be included in the policy ?

      You need to look at the summary of insured cover to determine if the policy holder is the your landlord only or does it say the leaseholders' and mortgagors' interest are noted.

      You need to find out if a substantial fire to your building occurred, and you have to rent another place for 3-6 months , are you covered for loss of rent?

      Comment


        #4
        loss of rent will be the Landlords insurance for loss HIS of income.

        O.P. does not rent out his flat, and will not lose income from not being able
        to rent out his flat, because he doesn't rent out his flat.

        Comment


          #5
          Thank you very much for your replies

          I did think this is unreasonable and would explain why he has been witholding the policy for so long. I am not mentioned as an interest on the policy (or my mortgager) and having tried to talk to the insurer in the past he has told them not to give out information to me and refused to name me as interested party.

          He rents the shop the the tune of £30,000 ish a year, I do not rent my flat so I do not benefit from loss of rent cover. Apparently the shop pays the other 1/3 of the insurance as well so he pays nothing.

          The policy he has in place is a 'property investors protection plan' rather than buildings insurance so the cover is not as good for me and it has additional cover for his property business. For instance, there is no provision for my rehousing in the event of damage. In fact, the only cover for the building is repair/ reinstate, nothing for me, and fixtures & fitting 'for domestic purposes' are excluded.

          My lease wording on the matter states:

          the landlords hereby covenent with the tenent - to insure and keep insured the said building comprising all 3 floors thereof against loss or damage by fire or any other risks which the landlords from time to time consider appropriate in an insurace office of repute to the full value thereof -

          he has argued that the bit that says he can insure for whatever risks he deems appropriate means he can do what he likes. I pointed out that this means risks to the building and not additional cover for his personal benefit.

          This landlord has many properties, limited understanding of the law and my rights and a tendency to try to rip me off. The last fight we had was when he sent a solicitor letters threatening to send bailiffs/evict me if I did not pay him £15,000 for a pre-existing loft conversion! I had to prove it was done with permission from the previous landlord (years previously)and building regs, took me a year of legal wrangling before he stopped sending threatening letters.

          I am self employed with a low income so quite limited as to what I can do about him, I cannot afford solicitors or the LVT fee at the moment - currently 7 months pregnant so pennies are being counted

          Comment


            #6
            Sadly a loss of rent is the consequence of "any loss" to the building and is recoverable. Whether or not it is fair is irrelevant to the fact the OP has had poor advice on the covenant, which could have been limited.

            If you contact the local LVT they may be able to help with funding or support from other agencies.

            However one avenue is via HMLR on line to get a copy of the shop lease and see if the amount is recovered from his shop tenant. There may be double dipping- 100% loss of rent from the shop tenant and an extra 33% from you.

            You could write and refuse to admit the amount and explain that if he wants to recover it he will first have to apply to the LVT to determine the amount prior to applying to the court. The cost and time may deter him otherwise he may stump up the fee- but be prepared to have to pay the insurance.
            Based on the information posted, I offer my thoughts.Any action you then take is your liability. While commending individual effort, there is no substitute for a thorough review of documents and facts by paid for professional advisers.

            Comment


              #7
              Hi thanks for your reply. There is no double dipping I believe, and I cant refuse to pay as I have already paid.

              I think my only course of action really is to go to the LVT and ask them to judge if its a reasonable service charge, do you think I have a chance of getting my money back with the LVT? Personally I dont think its reasonable at all.

              Also, I believe the insurance is inadequate (as well as overcharged) so I am considering refusing to pay next year and arranging my own cover if the landlord refuses to change it. Would this be a bad idea?

              Comment


                #8
                It's an awful idea.

                Like it or not you voluntarily bought a flat where the landlord is responsible for insurance, not you. You cannot secede from that contractual obligation, you do have the right to contractual remedies if the insurance does not meet those obligations but not the right to insure yourself.

                It is not the answer you want, nor fair, nor the "common sense" - "if he won't I will" solution, as you have entered into a binding contract that means " you can't, but he must, sue if he doesn't".

                yes the answer is the LVT to rule on the cover and the cost.
                Based on the information posted, I offer my thoughts.Any action you then take is your liability. While commending individual effort, there is no substitute for a thorough review of documents and facts by paid for professional advisers.

                Comment

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