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Damage to personal belongings when having new boiler fitted

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477 views 1 replies latest reply: 24 October 2016

Ive rented my property on an assured short hold tenancy for just over six years. The owners of the property are a charity and it is managed by letting agents.

The property is a small 2 bedroom cottage with one living area, small kitchen and bathroom downstairs.

I was notified by the regular plumber that they were replacing the boiler and some of the radiators as they felt the system needed upgrading. I arranged with the plumber to vacate the property for a couple of nights to stay with family so that this work could be done.

Last evening on returning to the house to collect my post, I was greeted by what I can only describe as a shower of rusty water coming through the ceiling. The plumber was just coming through the back door as I entered the front door. He managed to shut the water off. He then told me he had left the property for approximately one hour whilst the system was being flushed. It became apparent that during this time, the radiator in the upstairs bedroom had burst during this process and had completely flooded the floor and then came through the ceiling causing extensive damage to carpets, furniture and belongings.

I took an emergency days leave today to make necessary calls to insurance companies. The letting agents were notified and visited the property. They looked around and said just sort the contents with your insurance and we’ll get the repairs done. 

The house is not habitable and I spent the remainder of the day trying to salvage what I could. I wasn’t offered any assistance from the landlord whatsoever. 

Im now staying with family until my contents insurance loss adjuster visits on Wednesday. I’ve heard nothing further from the agents and they have made no attempt to get dryers in the property or offer any assistance with alternative accommodation.

My question is, do I have a claim against my landlord for compensation to my personal belongings and/or for providing me with alternative accommodation given that the damage was caused by their contractor who left the property unattended during the flushing of the central heating system?

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Your contents insurance is likely going to cover the things that were damaged by the flood. Landlords are typically not responsible for tenant belongings. 

However, you should negotiate to get a discount off the rent based on the number of days you have not stayed in the property. As you already found yourself temporary accommodation, this is the only thing you can do.

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