Building Insurance premium sounds absurd

Hello I am reading this forum with interest because I am about to buy a 1 bedroom flat in London which is part of a converted three storey house containing 5 flats in total. The annual building insurance premium for my flat will be £950. The seller's solicitor will not disclose the total premium for the whole building due to privacy reasons, nor will they confirm whether this £950 is split approximately equally between all five flats. I am suspicious that the whole building's building insurance is being billed to my flat only, and if not and everyone is paying this amount, then is c. £5000 per year in premium for a 5 flat building normal? The rebuilding value of my flat is £185,000. It's the smallest flat in the block. The solicitor is refusing to assist, and so the estate agent suggested I call the management company. I did but they refuse to speak to me because I don't own the flat (yet). The seller is refusing to ring the management company on my behalf or pay any costs towards a re-valuation. Can anybody advise whether a) the £950 annual premium for my flat sounds reasonable, and b) if not, how can I find out whether the whole building insurance has fallen to my flat only? I've been told I am being a nuisance by asking these questions to the solicitor. Please help!

Replies

  • hucksterhuckster Forumite
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    Seems expensive.

    If the Insurance is part way through the year, it would only be a pro-rata contribution to the renewal date any way, not the whole annual premium.

    I wonder whether the £950 is for Insurance and maintenance of the whole block. So if there was a problem with say guttering or other general maintenance there is a fund to pay for the works.

    You should have a right to the information as part of the buying process. The current flat owner should provide the information, if no one else will.
    The comments I post are personal opinion. Always refer to official information sources before relying on internet forums. If you have a problem with any organisation, enter into their official complaints process at the earliest opportunity, as sometimes complaints have to be started within a certain time frame.
  • CEHCEH Forumite
    2 Posts
    Thanks for your reply. I do suspect it's the insurance for the whole block but no one (not the seller nor their solicitor) will confirm this to me. I will also have to pay a separate annual service charge of £1200 in addition to this building insurance premium; this service charge covers maintenance. Added all up together, it's a significant amount of money per year for a very small, standard 1-bed flat. The current owner is not cooperating and will not provide the information, hence why I am writing here to find out how I can get this sorted out.
  • hucksterhuckster Forumite
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    Ask for a copy of the lease and any associated documents that relate to ongoing Insurance and maintenance of the block of flats.

    You need to ask yourself the question, whether them not providing information is a sign that other important information is being kept from you. For example, perhaps there is a current issue with Insurance not covering something that has happened. E.g one of the owners of one of flats has caused damage that was not covered by Insurance. There is an ongoing subsidence issue affecting part of the block.

    I can understand a Solicitors and vendor not providing neighbours names/addresses, but then they could simply provide redacted documents with third party names removed.
    The comments I post are personal opinion. Always refer to official information sources before relying on internet forums. If you have a problem with any organisation, enter into their official complaints process at the earliest opportunity, as sometimes complaints have to be started within a certain time frame.
  • dacouchdacouch Forumite
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    London has a high incidence of subsidence so it is likely to be in an area of subsidence and may have actually suffered subsidence
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