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  • FIRST POST
    • IRememberItWell
    • By IRememberItWell 4th Mar 17, 11:50 AM
    • 21Posts
    • 1Thanks
    IRememberItWell
    Insurance for Private Roof Terrace
    • #1
    • 4th Mar 17, 11:50 AM
    Insurance for Private Roof Terrace 4th Mar 17 at 11:50 AM
    A block of flats has a large flat roof. Half of this roof is a communal area with responsibility for its maintenance resting on all the leaseholders of the block. The other half is a newly re-coated area (with a ten-year guarantee for the coating only) that by virtue of a deed of variation is for the exclusive use of the penthouse. The deed of variation states that the maintenance of this private area is now the responsibility of the owner of the penthouse.

    Inquiries were made regarding the responsibility for damage to flats below or to the fabric of the building in the event that the new private terrace were to fail. The vendor's solicitor had stated that any such eventuality would be covered by the existing building insurance. However, the managing agents have so far failed to confirm this.

    Are such private/communal roof terraces a commonplace? How is the matter of insurance normally resolved? Does anyone have previous experience or knowledge of such matters?

    With many thanks in advance for comments.

    IRIW
Page 1
    • davidmcn
    • By davidmcn 4th Mar 17, 11:54 AM
    • 5,427 Posts
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    davidmcn
    • #2
    • 4th Mar 17, 11:54 AM
    • #2
    • 4th Mar 17, 11:54 AM
    "Fail" for what reason?
    • IRememberItWell
    • By IRememberItWell 4th Mar 17, 11:58 AM
    • 21 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    IRememberItWell
    • #3
    • 4th Mar 17, 11:58 AM
    • #3
    • 4th Mar 17, 11:58 AM
    Thanks for your prompt reply.
    Perhaps because of a hairline crack that had not been noticed or because of some imperfection in the laying of the new terrace.
    IRIW
    • davidmcn
    • By davidmcn 4th Mar 17, 12:35 PM
    • 5,427 Posts
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    davidmcn
    • #4
    • 4th Mar 17, 12:35 PM
    • #4
    • 4th Mar 17, 12:35 PM
    Perhaps because of a hairline crack that had not been noticed or because of some imperfection in the laying of the new terrace.
    Originally posted by IRememberItWell
    But those are unlikely to be insured risks under anybody's policy. Your remedy would be to enforce the maintenance obligations.
    • G_M
    • By G_M 4th Mar 17, 1:01 PM
    • 40,156 Posts
    • 45,867 Thanks
    G_M
    • #5
    • 4th Mar 17, 1:01 PM
    • #5
    • 4th Mar 17, 1:01 PM
    From whose perspective do you ask? prospective buyer of the penthouse? Owner of it? Owner of a flat beneath the terrace roof?

    It seems a ludicrous arrangement: insurance, and responsibilty for the maintennce of the structure of the building is far better dealt with in its entirety by the freeholder or management company. Cost can be allocated between flats & penthouse by any fair but specified formula.

    Having said that, if "maintenance of this private area is now the responsibility of the owner of the penthouse." then any failure to maintain the roof is the penthouse owner's fault. Any consequential loss or damage eg to a flat below would be the penthouse owner's responsibility.

    If the penthouse owner has a wattenty for the roof and the roof fails, that would be a matter for the penthouse owner to claim from the roofing company uder the warrenty.

    I can see lawyers getting rich though.
    • IRememberItWell
    • By IRememberItWell 16th Mar 17, 11:36 AM
    • 21 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    IRememberItWell
    • #6
    • 16th Mar 17, 11:36 AM
    • #6
    • 16th Mar 17, 11:36 AM
    Sorry for the sluggish reply but I've been away. In response to the first point: my perspective is as a prospective purchaser.
    IRIW
    • david1951
    • By david1951 16th Mar 17, 1:48 PM
    • 339 Posts
    • 381 Thanks
    david1951
    • #7
    • 16th Mar 17, 1:48 PM
    • #7
    • 16th Mar 17, 1:48 PM
    Buildings insurance doesn't cover shoddy workmanship or existing faults. The vendor's solicitor could be referring to an extreme weather event, which might cover the building for any resulting damage caused by the extreme weather causing the roof to 'fail'.

    If the roof fails due to shoddy workmanship (e.g., of the new coating) or an existing fault (e.g., a hairline crack) then this would likely not be covered by building insurance. In the former scenario, as others have said you would ascertain whether the owner of the penthouse (via the roofing company) were liable.

    Are you looking to buy the penthouse or a flat beneath it?
    • IRememberItWell
    • By IRememberItWell 16th Mar 17, 2:56 PM
    • 21 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    IRememberItWell
    • #8
    • 16th Mar 17, 2:56 PM
    • #8
    • 16th Mar 17, 2:56 PM
    Thanks - my interest is in the penthouse.
    IRIW
    • eddddy
    • By eddddy 16th Mar 17, 4:04 PM
    • 4,827 Posts
    • 4,467 Thanks
    eddddy
    • #9
    • 16th Mar 17, 4:04 PM
    • #9
    • 16th Mar 17, 4:04 PM
    Buildings Insurance typically covers loss or damage resulting from risks like:
    • fire, explosion, storms, floods, earthquakes
    • theft, attempted theft and vandalism
    • frozen and burst pipes
    • fallen trees, lampposts, aerials or satellite dishes
    • subsidence
    • vehicle or aircraft collisions.

    So if one of the above caused damage to the terrace, and perhas the flats below were damaged as well, you should be able to claim on the insurance.

    But if the terrace failed because of wear and tear, bad workmanship, poor maintenance or some other kind of damage, it's unlikely to be covered by buildings insurance.

    Some policies also cover accidental damage. (e.g. You accidentally drop something heavy on the terrace coating and damage it, or your bbq tips over and burns the coating.)
    Last edited by eddddy; 16-03-2017 at 4:09 PM.
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