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Freeholder not providing Building Insurance details
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# 1
Problem5
Old 28-01-2013, 2:11 PM
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Default Freeholder not providing Building Insurance details

Hi Everyone,
I am in a very uncomfortable situation and wish to seek your advice.
My freeholder is not sending me the details of the buildinginsurance policy. I asked him to do so back in November 2012 (sent him a letterrecorded delivery), my solicitor made the same request in December 2012 on mybehalf. He responded assuring me that the building is fully insured and that Ishould pay £240, but no details of the policy. The reason why I asked for acopy of the policy is: I had a water leak in the property in October 2012 andthe company that repaired it assured me they will claim all the expense fromthe building insurance. As some time has passed and I was not able to providethe details of the policy so they can make the claim, they said they will sendthe invoice to me. The invoice amount is £964, which is quite significant tome, and I did not expect to pay it, therefore never budgeted for this expense.The situation is even more complicated because I am now going through a leaseextension and do not wish to upset the freeholder too much, so that he does notrequest a hugely high amount for the extension. In short my questions are:
· What else can I do to make the landlord providedetails of the building insurance?
· Do I have to pay the £240 for building insuranceeven without the copy of the policy (my solicitor dealing with lease extensionadvised not to, but I contacted Lease Advice Bureau who said I can not withholdpayment on this basis)?
· Lease Advice also told me that if the freeholderdoes not provide the details within 21 days I can complain to the localauthority – but when I contact Newham Council no one seemed to be able to tellme how to log the complaint and who will deal with it. Which department shouldI contact in the local authority and would it help?
· Even if I pay the £240 requested, I believe thesum is quite high, and I don’t know anything about the details of the policy(excess, etc). Can I dispute it with the landlord?
· Would it be advisable to just pay the invoicefrom the repair company and then when the lease is extended file a Small ClaimsForm in order to get the money from the freeholder?
· When the leak repair company started the workthey did not provide any quote, so I expected a bill of £500 max (they said theequipment they use for detection is £250+vat plus labour). I also made themaware that I did not have the details f the building insurance company at thetime due to the problem with the freeholder (all conversations were on thephone, so can not prove this has been said). Can I dispute this?
Thank you for your time. Your help is greatly appreciated.
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# 2
xylophone
Old 28-01-2013, 2:23 PM
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What exactly does this building insurance policy cover and in whose name is it held?

When I owned a leasehold flat, there was a "common parts" policy held by the freeholder but every leaseholder was required by the terms of the lease to insure his own property.

In my particular case the terms of the lease required each leaseholder to use the company specified by the freeholder ( which was the same as that providing the "common parts" policy) so that there was never any dispute as to liability - however, had damage occured to common parts, the freeholder would have instituted a claim and if to individual flats, the leaseholder would have claimed under his own policy.
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# 3
kleapatra
Old 29-01-2013, 11:43 AM
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I own a leasehold property and I have to pay annual buildings insurance to the freeholder. The policy covers my house, the flat next door and a shop. The freeholder phones up every Christmas (usually a day or 2 before the 25th) and says you owe me such and such, please pay me immediately. This year it was nigh on £300 which seems an horrendous amount for a very small 1 bedroom house but I'm *told* we have to have commercial buildings insurance due to the small shop (one room shop, probably no bigger than most peoples front rooms!) The first couple of years I asked for copies of the policies but he refused and wouldn't budge, I've given up asking now and he got so stroppy about it - I have no idea who could make him provide me with copies anyway.
I'm pretty sure we are insured however as several years ago we had to claim on it - still didn't see the policy then though - just dealt with the broker who's number the freeholder gave me.

So in short, I would pay up on the insurance to ensure you are covered but I have no idea how to get copies of policies etc!
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# 4
kingstreet
Old 29-01-2013, 11:50 AM
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If you have contracted with a supplier to have repairs carried out without first seeking the opinion of, or approval of, the insurer, you may not get the invoice paid.

You do need the details of the insurer to set the ball rolling, but expect questions from the insurer about why you've resolved the problem without contacting them first.
I am a Mortgage Adviser. You should note that this site doesn't check my status as a Mortgage Adviser, so you need to take my word for it. This signature is here as I follow MSE's Mortgage Adviser Code of Conduct. Any posts on here are for information and discussion purposes only and shouldn't be seen as financial advice.
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# 5
Problem5
Old 29-01-2013, 1:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xylophone View Post
What exactly does this building insurance policy cover and in whose name is it held?

When I owned a leasehold flat, there was a "common parts" policy held by the freeholder but every leaseholder was required by the terms of the lease to insure his own property.

In my particular case the terms of the lease required each leaseholder to use the company specified by the freeholder ( which was the same as that providing the "common parts" policy) so that there was never any dispute as to liability - however, had damage occured to common parts, the freeholder would have instituted a claim and if to individual flats, the leaseholder would have claimed under his own policy.
Thank you for your response. My flat is a converted flat (there are only 2 in the building) and according to the lease the freeholder has to take building insurance for the whole building.
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# 6
Problem5
Old 29-01-2013, 1:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kingstreet View Post
If you have contracted with a supplier to have repairs carried out without first seeking the opinion of, or approval of, the insurer, you may not get the invoice paid.

You do need the details of the insurer to set the ball rolling, but expect questions from the insurer about why you've resolved the problem without contacting them first.
Thank you for your response.
When I agreed with the company to conduct repairs, they assured me I do not have to worry about anything as they have a specialist department dealing with making claims, so all that is needed from me is a copy of the building insurance policy. Now if I pay the invoice myself I am pretty sure I will never get the money back. Is there a way to check somehow in a database the organisation that is providing the building insurance for my property?
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# 7
kingstreet
Old 29-01-2013, 2:37 PM
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I suggest you take what this firm said with a pinch of salt. It sits with the other "well, they would say that, wouldn't they?" comments. They wanted your business.

Only your insurer can tell you what your insurer's requirements are. I hope you have no problem, but I'd prepare for the worst.

There is no policy database, I'm afraid you are stuck with the freeholder for information.
I am a Mortgage Adviser. You should note that this site doesn't check my status as a Mortgage Adviser, so you need to take my word for it. This signature is here as I follow MSE's Mortgage Adviser Code of Conduct. Any posts on here are for information and discussion purposes only and shouldn't be seen as financial advice.
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# 8
Problem5
Old 21-02-2013, 3:43 PM
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I have now got the next challenge: the building company that carried the work and said they will claim themselves should I produce the policy details, want me to get the claim number.
When I tried to call the broker they said I am not authorized to do so, as I am not the policy holder.
When trying to contact the landlord he is avoiding my calls.
I am thinking of sending him a letter. What would be the best thing to say in it? Is there any way to avoid this, as I paid half of the insurance premium and I can not even claim unless it goes through the freeholder.
Thank you for your help.
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# 9
starving artist
Old 21-02-2013, 4:05 PM
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I am in a similar situation - My free holder has a policy in place but he deletes the policy number from the copies I get and in any case the insurance company will not deal with me because in spite of me requesting he will not add my name to the policy. I have often wondered what would happen in an emergency situation eg. burglary who I should call to repair damage or make the place secure if I couldn't get hold of the freeholder as he never informs me or leaves contact information when he is away.
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