Where do we stand? Damage. | The Tenants' Voice
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Where do we stand? Damage.

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130 views 1 replies latest reply: 10 July 2017


I am hoping for some second opinions from people with a lot more knowledge than myself on this one, so thanks in advance to any replies!

As some background information we are renting a furnished flat via an estate agency who deals with all management; we have no direct dealings with the landlord. We are now approaching the end of the tenancy and have an un-resolved issue which threatens to lose us our entire deposit.

Basically, our flat is covered by some type of interlocking wood flooring and we have damaged a small section – we fully accept responsibility for this damage. However, we do hold tenants liability insurance through a company called Homelet, which was supposed to protect us from anything like this. We’ve had a surveyor out who has assessed the damage and initially agreed that the insurance would cover us. A further inspection decided that this would no longer be the case due to further damage to the floor in a separate area cause by what looks to be a leaky dishwasher – this damaged was noted by the inspector (provided by the estate agency) at the start of our tenancy who simply said it needed to be kept an eye on (and subsequently said the same at all future inspections). The big issue is that the floor cannot be fixed in parts, our inspector, and two surveyors have said the whole floor would need to be replaced because of the type.

We’ve recently had a further inspection (whereby there was a complete switch in tone from the inspector) and the estate agency is now saying that this may have to go to a third party who will listen to both parts and decide the outcome – they were basically suggesting we may have to pay for the damage.

What I want to know is whether this is right and where do we stands in terms of an argument? Considering:

       We took out all necessary steps in terms of liability insurance to ensure we were covered for damage

       The insurer initially agreed to cover the damage

       The insurance is then voided by previous damage

       The previous damage is nothing to do with us, and was noted by the management company various times yet never fixed

       They estate agency appears to be seeking our deposits in payment for an entirely new floor

Furthermore, there has been little attempt to resolve the issue from our estate agent on behalf of the landlord. They only ever act when we push and push (there are other issues left untouched which were supposed to be fixed months ago for example).

My worry is that with us moving out soon, we will be left with no resolution and they will just keep our deposits. I’ve had suggestions to withhold the final rent until the issues are fixed but obviously would not want to be doing that.

Any comments and thoughts much appreciated.

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Withholding rent may have unforeseen consequences, like receiving bad references in the future, which can make it hard to get a good property to rent. 

I don’t have much experience with insurance companies, but I know enough to stay away from them. Their game is really to take your insurance and then do as much as they can to NOT pay expenses. 

Be it a small error on your side, or really a problem that has nothing to do with you, they always find a way. I suggest you talk to a solicitor who has experience in insurance claims and take it from there. 

Also make sure your inventory documents and deposit protection pack is there with you, so you can show some information. 

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