Residential Property Owner: Loss of Rent
Our client reported an escape of water at a block of flats that they manage. One of the flats in the block had been empty for 18 months whilst undergoing a £2 million renovation. The owner of the flat was living in rented accommodation, having taken out a two-year rental agreement. They had intended on renting out their property once renovation was complete.
Unfortunately, just as the property renovation was almost complete, the mains waste pipe froze and subsequently exploded. This caused a huge backup of waste water to leak into the property. The leak had gone right through the split-level flat causing significant damage.
Whilst the Material Damage claim was dealt with correctly, and in a timely manner by the insurer, a problem arose as the owner wanted to claim for loss of rent. As the property had not been rented out before and was empty at the time of the leak, the insurer declined the loss of rent claim.
What we did
We made a formal complaint to the insurer. Together with the leaseholder and managing agent, we provided evidence from two local lettings agents demonstrating what the likely rental income for the refurbished flat would have been. We pointed out that the flat would have been let quickly once the renovation had been completed. And had the damage not occurred, the owner would have an additional six months rental income.
After reviewing the claim at senior level, the insurer agreed to pay six months’ rent totalling £65,092.50. Added to the cost of the repairs in the flat the total claim was settled for £124,181.86.
Both the owner of the flat and managing agent were delighted with the outcome.
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