Damage to personal property during renovations in rented flat

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  • Damage to personal property during renovations in rented flat

    Recently we got a letter from the freeholder of the property saying a contractor would be starting work on the roof of the block. The letter arrived on the day the work started and it referred to a 30 day notice which we are supposed to have received but never saw. The freeholder later said the letter in question had been sent to the leaseholder of the flat, our landlord. We contacted the letting agents for the flat but they did not know anything about the flat. None of this though is a big issue to us. What is maddening is that the freeholder said they have not taken insurance to cover our household contents in case the roof leaks and our flat is flooded while the works are going on, or our personal property suffer any other possible damage. We were told to take household contents insurance to cover that risk. The problem is that our household insurance does not cater for such special conditions. There has been a lot of hammering and drilling which causes vibrations that harm computer hard disks. Already on the 1st week of drilling etc, my computer hard drive has failed and I've lost all data. I have had the hard drive replaced. Should I really be picking the bill for this, seeing I can't claim for it from my household contents insurance?

  • #2
    R.a.M I am once again perplexed by your advice...

    How can the managing agent be held liable, they did not undertake the work nor do they own any legal interest in the property?

    Liability would be with long lessee ie landlord - who then in turn could take action against Freeholder. Contractors would probably be excluded from liability under Rights of Third party and exclusion clauses...
    [I]The opinions I give are simply my opinions and interpretations of what I have learnt, in numerous years as a property professional, I would not rely upon them without consulting with a paid advisor and providing them with all the relevant facts[I]

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by MrJohnnyB View Post
      R.a.M I am once again perplexed by your advice...

      How can the managing agent be held liable,
      opps, had my company hat on, so have revised post below.

      Originally posted by Brian2011 View Post

      (A) The letter arrived on the day the work started and it referred to a 30 day
      notice which we are supposed to have received but never saw.
      (B) We contacted the letting agents for the flat but they did not know anything about the flat.
      (C) What is maddening is that the freeholder said they have not taken insurance to
      cover our household contents
      (D) The problem is that our household insurance does not cater for such special conditions.
      (E) Should I really be picking the bill for this, seeing I can't claim for it from my household
      contents insurance?
      A + B
      It is common for the OWNER of a flat to just ignor any letters from the managing
      agent / letting agent ( i kid you not ), which is why the agent may not know.
      It is also common for an agent NEVER to tell any one when workmen are to arrive.
      ( It costs them money to do so, so they don't ) and ours never used to tell us !

      C. The landlord canot take out contents insurance to insure items that do not
      belong to the landlord. You take out contents insurance to cover your items.
      The person who resides in the flat takes out contents insurance.

      D. Contents cover wont cover your situation.

      Your "beef" is with the letting agents.
      They are looking after your interests , so you put your complaint to the letting
      agent, tell them the problems the work is creating, and that you want compensation from them.
      They will contact the landlord, who will in turn contact the managing company.

      The building will have "buildings insurance" that covers all the property that does
      not belong to the owners, e.g. outside walls, roof, garden, drive etc. and you may
      be able to claim on the buildings insurance, but that is for the owner of the flat to
      do.

      But why should insurance pay for deliberate damage ?

      Put your claim into the letting agent, stating you want a swift conclusion,
      and it's the letting agents duty to inform your landlord of your problems, and for
      your landlord to sort out.

      R.a.M.

      Comment


      • #4
        I would say it is up to the landlord to compensate the tenant, the matter of who is insured is not relevant. The landlord (or his insurers) may proceed to claim against the freeholder, who inturn may (possibly via insurers) claim against the contractors etc etc, but that dosn't affect the tenant - his claim is against the landlord.

        As an aside though, I have workerd with computers since the average hard drive was 20Mb and floppy disks were 5 and a bit inches square. Hard drives (except the newest solid state ones) always warn about damage from vibration, but I have never seen it happen and can't help thinking that this may be nothing more than a coincidence. If the vibration from the workmen was sufficient to damage a hard drive adequately protected inside a PC case then I would not expect the building to still be standing.

        Comment


        • #5
          Damage to personal property during renovations in rented flat

          Many thanks R.a.M, MrJohnnyB and Snorkez. Taken the matter up with the letting agents, saying they are talking to the landlord to get him to come to an agreement with the freeholder regarding the issue.

          Snorkez, re:coincidence I would have agreed with you unquestioningly before this incidence. But I find it hard to understand how both my hard drive as well as external backup drive failed within a week of the drilling and hammering work by the contractor. Could that be a coincidence too?

          Best

          Brian

          -------------




          Originally posted by ram View Post
          opps, had my company hat on, so have revised post below.

          A + B
          It is common for the OWNER of a flat to just ignor any letters from the managing
          agent / letting agent ( i kid you not ), which is why the agent may not know.
          It is also common for an agent NEVER to tell any one when workmen are to arrive.
          ( It costs them money to do so, so they don't ) and ours never used to tell us !

          C. The landlord canot take out contents insurance to insure items that do not
          belong to the landlord. You take out contents insurance to cover your items.
          The person who resides in the flat takes out contents insurance.

          D. Contents cover wont cover your situation.

          Your "beef" is with the letting agents.
          They are looking after your interests , so you put your complaint to the letting
          agent, tell them the problems the work is creating, and that you want compensation from them.
          They will contact the landlord, who will in turn contact the managing company.

          The building will have "buildings insurance" that covers all the property that does
          not belong to the owners, e.g. outside walls, roof, garden, drive etc. and you may
          be able to claim on the buildings insurance, but that is for the owner of the flat to
          do.

          But why should insurance pay for deliberate damage ?

          Put your claim into the letting agent, stating you want a swift conclusion,
          and it's the letting agents duty to inform your landlord of your problems, and for
          your landlord to sort out.

          R.a.M.

          Comment

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