Jump to content
House Price Crash Forum
giesahoose

The Problem With "accidental Landlords"

Recommended Posts

Been reading through more of the thread on mumsnet.

Some of the folk are suggesting that the tenant will be responsible for damages to the adjoining property because the landlord doesn't have buildings insurance and the tenant started the fire.

Surely that can't be right?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Should have had:

buildinginsurance

Fire safety certificates etc

Obtained permission to let from mortgage provider

Landlords insurance

Mortgage provider could exercise right to call in the loan

Debt recovery initiated / possible charge on 2nd property resulting.

Rental gains wiped out

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Been reading through more of the thread on mumsnet.

Some of the folk are suggesting that the tenant will be responsible for damages to the adjoining property because the landlord doesn't have buildings insurance and the tenant started the fire.

Surely that can't be right?

It might be correct that if the tenant caused damage to the property and neighbouring properties through negligence, then they are liable. It would take a real hot-shot lawyer acting for the neighbour to get that to stick, though.

In practice, that is why the neighbour has buildings insurance. Fires, floods, burst pipes, etc. happen all the time, and not necessarily through negligence. In general, unless there is overwhelming evidence of deliberate damage (e.g. arson) or gross negligence, the insurers will just deal with it as an insured loss, each insured party claiming for their own loss.

Similarly, the LL may have a claim against the tenant for the damage to their property, if the tenant was provably negligent (e.g. by the use of unsupervised candles, particularly if the tenancy agreement prohibited the use of naked flames). In practice, in the absence of overwhelming evidence of negligence or deliberate fire setting, such a claim will go nowhere, and anyway, the tenant is unlikely to be able to pay. The whole purpose buildings insurance is to protect against this risk.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Debt recovery initiated / possible charge on 2nd property resulting.

The landlord only owns the property that caught fire and is renting the place she currently lives in.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

An amateur LL got amateur tenants. A match made in heaven. Who has naked candles in a house these days?

judging by the number that i saw the last time i was in ikea, everyone!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow!

I tend to avoid insurance as a kind of financial scam but this is pretty serious!

The purpose of insurance is to protect you from a loss that you could not afford. For example, if the house burns down, your dog bites the postman causing serious injury, you run someone over with your car. It is unwise to be without this type of insurance, and may be a contractural or legal obligation.

However, much insurance that is sold these days is for losses that you could afford to pay. E.g. mobile phone handset insurance, etc. These are lucrative to the insurer and a poor buy for the customer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow!

I tend to avoid insurance as a kind of financial scam but this is pretty serious!

Catastrophe insurance is extremely useful and cheap, unfrotunately no replacement for lost personal / unique posessions or people though! What is a small pooled loss for the insurer isd a personal whole life wrecker for the individual or company that doesn't take it. Read all policies and take advice but something like buildings insurance a total essential.

Edited by onlyme2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That thread is making me think I really ought to get some decent tenant liability insurance... It would be less than brilliant if the deposit I am saving to escape from the clutches of rentiers ended up being used to fix one of their houses.

Edit: It seems like the standard policies only cover the tenant for £2k-£5k worth of damage to the landlord's possessions, which is obviously not going to cover you if you burn the landlord's house down. Is this an uninsurable risk?

Edited by Dorkins

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is the very meaning of a catastrophe; a fiasco, a complete disaster

I hope the tenant recovers, yes the candle was a mistake, but then again it wasn't so long ago that someone successfully set fire to themselves decanting petrol from one continer to another in the Kitchen, with the gas oven turned on, so a candle isn't a biggie and they had enough sense to have contents insurance

On the other hand the landlord is a moron.. not an amateur moron but a grade A professional moron. The term 'amateur landlord' should be banned.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That thread is making me think I really ought to get some decent tenant liability insurance... It would be less than brilliant if the deposit I am saving to escape from the clutches of rentiers ended up being used to fix one of their houses.

Edit: It seems like the standard policies only cover the tenant for £2k-£5k worth of damage to the landlord's possessions, which is obviously not going to cover you if you burn the landlord's house down. Is this an uninsurable risk?

Standard policy for the tenant would be a contents to cover their contents and some fixstures/fixttings. Up to the landlord to insure the building - unless there is something written in the the tenancy. Really don't see how any landlord could sue for any sort of accident.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It might be correct that if the tenant caused damage to the property and neighbouring properties through negligence, then they are liable. It would take a real hot-shot lawyer acting for the neighbour to get that to stick, though.

In practice, that is why the neighbour has buildings insurance. Fires, floods, burst pipes, etc. happen all the time, and not necessarily through negligence. In general, unless there is overwhelming evidence of deliberate damage (e.g. arson) or gross negligence, the insurers will just deal with it as an insured loss, each insured party claiming for their own loss.

Similarly, the LL may have a claim against the tenant for the damage to their property, if the tenant was provably negligent (e.g. by the use of unsupervised candles, particularly if the tenancy agreement prohibited the use of naked flames). In practice, in the absence of overwhelming evidence of negligence or deliberate fire setting, such a claim will go nowhere, and anyway, the tenant is unlikely to be able to pay. The whole purpose buildings insurance is to protect against this risk.

No naked flames?? Does this mean you can't have a gas cooker in a rental, or a pilot light in the boiler, put a candle on a Birthday cake, etc? The idiot Landlord had no insurance, that's the real problem

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The term 'amateur landlord' should be banned.

The term "accidental landlord" should be a capital offence. Whoops, I accidentally went down to a letting agents and got them to rent out my property.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Standard policy for the tenant would be a contents to cover their contents and some fixstures/fixttings. Up to the landlord to insure the building - unless there is something written in the the tenancy. Really don't see how any landlord could sue for any sort of accident.

Insuring the building and insuring yourself against being sued for damaging the building (and the neighbour's) are not the same thing. It was the tenant's candle that started the fire, it looks like they are legally liable for the damage.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It might be correct that if the tenant caused damage to the property and neighbouring properties through negligence, then they are liable. It would take a real hot-shot lawyer acting for the neighbour to get that to stick, though.

In practice, that is why the neighbour has buildings insurance. Fires, floods, burst pipes, etc. happen all the time, and not necessarily through negligence. In general, unless there is overwhelming evidence of deliberate damage (e.g. arson) or gross negligence, the insurers will just deal with it as an insured loss, each insured party claiming for their own loss.

Similarly, the LL may have a claim against the tenant for the damage to their property, if the tenant was provably negligent (e.g. by the use of unsupervised candles, particularly if the tenancy agreement prohibited the use of naked flames). In practice, in the absence of overwhelming evidence of negligence or deliberate fire setting, such a claim will go nowhere, and anyway, the tenant is unlikely to be able to pay. The whole purpose buildings insurance is to protect against this risk.

You don't need a hotshot laywer to recover the losses. Fire and Metropolis Act covers it off but there does need to be demonstrable negligence - which may be obtainable from the fire bobbies report. More normally they sit on the fence unless there is a casualty. Insurers use forensic scientists and if they indicate negligence will obtain a recovery of their outlay. Same applies to the neighbour. The tenants insurance (contents) covers occupiers liability. If for example you are a homeowner and only have buildings insurance. If through your negligence you burn you own home down and damage the neighbours, the neighbour has a claim against you but you have no insurance to meet the costs of the claim. As the claimant, you need to demonstrate the negligence.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Edit: It seems like the standard policies only cover the tenant for £2k-£5k worth of damage to the landlord's possessions, which is obviously not going to cover you if you burn the landlord's house down. Is this an uninsurable risk?

The £2k cover will be for non negligence . The occupiers liability cover will be substantial - typically £1m.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Insuring the building and insuring yourself against being sued for damaging the building (and the neighbour's) are not the same thing. It was the tenant's candle that started the fire, it looks like they are legally liable for the damage.

Agreed, but specific liability insurance would surely only be reasonable if you were going to do something stupid to make you liable - in which case you may not be covered!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The £2k cover will be for non negligence . The occupiers liability cover will be substantial - typically £1m.

That's typical liability cover on a renter's contents policy?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

An amateur LL got amateur tenants. A match made in heaven. Who has naked candles in a house these days?

Appalling negligence by the landlord, but having a candle lit is hardly a problem (sure, leaving it unattended is another deal, but who doesn't have them lit on various occasions throughout the year?)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Business has risks, you can insure against them if you want. If you don't and it goes wrong its unfortunate but part of life. I suspect the problem here is that renting out a property wasn't taken seriously by the business person and as in many cases where a business is not taken seriously by the person responsible for it, it can go bust and they can lose money. Just another one of those.

The issue here is that this person starting a letting business was not qualified to do so nor has the financial backing to meet their obligations. They should require licensing to provide housing.

Share this post


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 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • The Prime Minister stated that there were three Brexit options available to the UK:   206 members have voted

    1. 1. Which of the Prime Minister's options would you choose?


      • Leave with the negotiated deal
      • Remain
      • Leave with no deal

    Please sign in or register to vote in this poll. View topic


×

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.