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  • FIRST POST
    ElLast
    Police broke down my front door - who pays?
    • #1
    • 6th Dec 12, 11:20 AM
    Police broke down my front door - who pays? 6th Dec 12 at 11:20 AM
    Hi guys
    New to this forum so I hope I have posted in the right place!

    I've been suffering with ill health for quite a while now and live by myself in South West London. Recently, I decided to go and stay with my parents in the West Country while I recouperated.

    The other day my Dad went to my property to check it was OK, pick up post etc and found that the police had forced entry to my property by breaking the door down. Apparently,the neighbours were worried about me as they were aware I was unwell and they hadn't heard anything from me for a few weeks, so they called the police.

    While I am grateful for their concern, I am now left with a busted front door which is going to need replacing and new locks etc.

    Who is responsible for paying for this replacement? The police left details of the statute under which they gained access to the property, which I am fine with, however I could be saddled with a hefty bill for not doing anything at all! Should the police pay, or should I be looking to my insurance company? (I'm not even sure if they would cover this type of cost?!)

    Does anyone have experience of this, or have any ideas where I can start finding out who is responsible, numbers to call etc.

    Many thanks in advance
Page 1
    • JimmyTheWig
    • By JimmyTheWig 6th Dec 12, 11:36 AM
    • 11,871 Posts
    • 11,406 Thanks
    JimmyTheWig
    • #2
    • 6th Dec 12, 11:36 AM
    • #2
    • 6th Dec 12, 11:36 AM
    Didn't want to read and run, but I really don't know.
    Seems harsh for you to have to foot the bill, but given that everyone else did what they did with the best intensions I'm not convinced there is anyone else who should pay for it.

    Could try your home insurance company, but I'm not overly confident.


    As an aside, you say you have been away from home for some time. What's the deal with your home insurance about this? Most, I believe, require you to let them know if you are away for a prolonged period.
  • ElLast
    • #3
    • 6th Dec 12, 11:38 AM
    • #3
    • 6th Dec 12, 11:38 AM
    Thanks for the reply. Basically as my flat is a leasehold I don't think I will covered under my own personal insurance, which is contents only. It will either be under the buildings insurance (which I pay a proportion of to the freeholder), the police pay it, or I pay the whole thing outright

    Thanks for the heads up on letting the insurers know however, I might give them a bell to check.
    • HappyMJ
    • By HappyMJ 6th Dec 12, 11:39 AM
    • 20,595 Posts
    • 17,201 Thanks
    HappyMJ
    • #4
    • 6th Dec 12, 11:39 AM
    • #4
    • 6th Dec 12, 11:39 AM
    Hi guys
    New to this forum so I hope I have posted in the right place!

    I've been suffering with ill health for quite a while now and live by myself in South West London. Recently, I decided to go and stay with my parents in the West Country while I recouperated.

    The other day my Dad went to my property to check it was OK, pick up post etc and found that the police had forced entry to my property by breaking the door down. Apparently,the neighbours were worried about me as they were aware I was unwell and they hadn't heard anything from me for a few weeks, so they called the police.

    While I am grateful for their concern, I am now left with a busted front door which is going to need replacing and new locks etc.

    Who is responsible for paying for this replacement? The police left details of the statute under which they gained access to the property, which I am fine with, however I could be saddled with a hefty bill for not doing anything at all! Should the police pay, or should I be looking to my insurance company? (I'm not even sure if they would cover this type of cost?!)

    Does anyone have experience of this, or have any ideas where I can start finding out who is responsible, numbers to call etc.

    Many thanks in advance
    Originally posted by ElLast
    Your insurance will pay and if they feel the damage caused by the police was not justified then they will recover the cost from the police. However, you will have an excess to pay on your insurance which you may want to claim from the police or from your neighbour or may just want to accept it.

    Regular savers earn 6% interest (HSBC, First Direct, M&S) Loans cost 2.9% per year (Nationwide) = FREE money.
    • *Scarlett
    • By *Scarlett 6th Dec 12, 11:45 AM
    • 1,751 Posts
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    *Scarlett
    • #5
    • 6th Dec 12, 11:45 AM
    • #5
    • 6th Dec 12, 11:45 AM
    Some policies will cover forced access by emergency services - check your policy schedule / book.
    • phill99
    • By phill99 6th Dec 12, 6:59 PM
    • 8,552 Posts
    • 7,728 Thanks
    phill99
    • #6
    • 6th Dec 12, 6:59 PM
    • #6
    • 6th Dec 12, 6:59 PM
    The police certainly wont pay. The have a plethora of Statute and Case Law to back them up.
    Eat vegetables and fear no creditors, rather than eat duck and hide.
    • ACG
    • By ACG 6th Dec 12, 8:34 PM
    • 19,296 Posts
    • 10,879 Thanks
    ACG
    • #7
    • 6th Dec 12, 8:34 PM
    • #7
    • 6th Dec 12, 8:34 PM
    My dad used to rent out a house to a drug dealer (he didnt know the bloke was a dealer), anyway the police kicked the door in and he claimed it back through their insurers.

    This was probably 10-15 years ago so things could have changed.
    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.
    • Sally A
    • By Sally A 6th Dec 12, 8:43 PM
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    Sally A
    • #8
    • 6th Dec 12, 8:43 PM
    • #8
    • 6th Dec 12, 8:43 PM
    1)Thank your lucky stars you have neighbours who care about you.

    2) Tell them next time you are going away.

    3) Try your home insurance policy, for damage caused by emergency access (Face facts, if you had been comatose on the floor, you would be very grateful indeed that your neighbours had called and they had broken in).

    4) Buy the caring neighbours a box of chocs.
    • InsideInsurance
    • By InsideInsurance 7th Dec 12, 8:38 AM
    • 22,215 Posts
    • 11,383 Thanks
    InsideInsurance
    • #9
    • 7th Dec 12, 8:38 AM
    • #9
    • 7th Dec 12, 8:38 AM
    The buildings insurance will cover it given the reason the police broke in (evidently if it was to arrest you then it wouldnt be)

    If your landlord is willing to claim on their insurance of cause is another matter. I guess who is liable outside of insurance between you and your landlord is down to the wording of your tenancy agreement
  • Sgt Pepper
    The police certainly wont pay. The have a plethora of Statute and Case Law to back them up.
    Originally posted by phill99
    I'm sorry but you're wrong. The police will pay.
    • McKneff
    • By McKneff 7th Dec 12, 8:50 AM
    • 36,595 Posts
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    McKneff
    I wouldnt be ringing your insurance company up, they will put it on your record as a claim, even if you dont claim. Just by ringing them you are telling them you are now more of a risk and yur premiums will rise, you wil have to declare this on all insurance enquireis in the future.

    Try the Police, if not, I would try getting a cheapo handymand to mend it.
    Hope you feel better soon, and if youre going away at all in future, tell one of your neighbours.
    make the most of it, we are only here for the weekend.
    and we will never, ever return.
    • Oli.s
    • By Oli.s 7th Dec 12, 8:51 AM
    • 524 Posts
    • 515 Thanks
    Oli.s
    I'm sorry but you're wrong. The police will pay.
    Originally posted by Sgt Pepper
    As above, if they broke your door down in good faith even though your neighbours concern was wrong they will pay.

    If they had a court warrant or they did it to arrest you or because you had illegal drugs, property etc in your house they won't pay.

    They won't just ask you to pop into the station and hand over cash on the spot though. You need to either have the repair done and pay, then send them the bill, or get estimates and send them in to them to assess. (In your case it's likely you'll have to have the repair done then bill them unless your door is still functioning and you can wait).

    It's not a quick process and will be dealt with by the office of the force solicitor.

    It's also worth noting that they will only pay for like for like, so don't have a cheap door replaced with something top of the range, they will decline the claim if they think your trying to take the mick.

    The officers who broke your door down will have noted the type, condition etc and the police solicitor will contact them to check if they think your claim has been exaggerated.

    Best thing to do is ring your local station and ask for the contact details which will be a postal address and possibly email, very unlikely that there will be a phone number.
  • ElLast
    Hi guys
    Bit of an update.

    I've spoken to the police on 101 and they have asked me to write to their legal division at New Scotland Yard detailing what happened. The lady on the end of the phone said they would pay for the replacement door etc. as it wasn't for anything illegal - HOWEVER as with all things like this she might not be that well informed. Either way, the letter has gone off today.

    As I am a leaseholder of my flat, I phoned the freeholder and told them what had happened. As I am only a leasehold owner, I am only required to take out private contents insurance, which on review does not cover my door etc. My buildings insurance is done through the freeholder, for which I pay what I deem to be a rather large sum of cash each year (it is a group policy covering about 90 or so flats). They have said the replacement door etc will be covered by the buildings insurance, however there is a 250 excess on the policy.

    I have completed a claim form they sent me and have mailed it back to them today, advising them of what happened and have also said that the police may pay up. They will organise the repairs on my behalf however, it's just a question of whether or not I pay the 250 excess it seems.

    Just have to wait to hear from the police/insurers now. Will keep this updated for future reference!

    Final edit - re me going away, it was a bit of a short notice thing and I was not in a particularly good frame of mind/health when I left. Over the past few weeks this was one thing that was playing on my mind, hence my father heading up to the flat to check on it/speak to my neighbour (I didn't have their phone number) - it was just a week too late unfortunately. Live and learn and all that
    Last edited by ElLast; 07-12-2012 at 3:35 PM.
    • Sally A
    • By Sally A 7th Dec 12, 4:36 PM
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    • 5,840 Thanks
    Sally A
    Glad you are perking up EILast, maybe confide in your nearest neighbours next time.

    Despite the mood and the cynicism of the country, there are a lot of good neighbours out there - treasure them, as only by thanking them will they continue to look out for you and others.
  • ElLast
    Glad you are perking up EILast, maybe confide in your nearest neighbours next time.

    Despite the mood and the cynicism of the country, there are a lot of good neighbours out there - treasure them, as only by thanking them will they continue to look out for you and others.
    Originally posted by Sally A
    Absolutely right I'm fortunate in that the people in my block of 6 flats seem to keep an eye out for each other. A few months ago, we had a 60-something old lady in one of the flats upstairs fall down the stairs - I heard an almighty crash so went out to have a look and got a right shock. I quickly summoned my neighbours and we got the ambulance out, turned out she fractured her neck and an inch the other way she would have died

    Since then, we as a block keep an eye on her and check to see she's OK, ask if she needs any help with things in her flat etc... it makes for a much more pleasant living environment than ignoring each other
    • Oli.s
    • By Oli.s 8th Dec 12, 1:32 PM
    • 524 Posts
    • 515 Thanks
    Oli.s
    If the LL is replacing the door and only requires you to pay 250 you should tell the police legal dept this, as this is all you should claim for.

    Let your LL's insurance co claim the rest if they wish, but if you claim the full cost and only pay 250, then the LL's insurance also claim (which they most likley will) you may find yourself at the wrong end of a fraud charge.
  • ElLast
    If the LL is replacing the door and only requires you to pay 250 you should tell the police legal dept this, as this is all you should claim for.

    Let your LL's insurance co claim the rest if they wish, but if you claim the full cost and only pay 250, then the LL's insurance also claim (which they most likley will) you may find yourself at the wrong end of a fraud charge.
    Originally posted by Oli.s
    Just to make it clear - I have no intention of defrauding the police or trying to make money out of this, all I want is my door fixed at as little cost to me as possible!

    The freeholder is organising the repair of the door and have the necessary police reference details. If the police confirm they will cover the full cost of the repair then fine, this is the ideal as then no claim will need to be made under insurance - I don't believe this is fraudulent?!

    If they won't pay it, then a claim will be made under insurance by the freeholder on my behalf and I will pay the 250 excess. I have already advised the freeholder that the police may pay on my claim form.
    Last edited by ElLast; 10-12-2012 at 1:30 PM.
  • ElLast
    Just a bit of an update for those that are interested / searching the internet to find the answer to my question!

    Since my last post I have heard back from both my freeholders/insurance and the police. I had a letter back after a few weeks from the police legal team at New Scotland Yard - unfortunately they will not pay for the cost of repairing my door etc as they had justifiable reason to force entry into my premises, although they were apologetic about the matter.

    The freeholders/insurance sent someone round to look at the door etc - it requires a new door, locks and frame which will need to be installed/painted over the period of a few days. The contractor came to look at the door between Xmas and New Year and I'm still waiting to get the go ahead from the freeholder/insurance company for him to do the work. It does look like I'll be paying the 250 excess though :

    Live and learn I suppose!
    • amiehall
    • By amiehall 11th Jan 13, 7:27 PM
    • 1,353 Posts
    • 1,609 Thanks
    amiehall
    I am concerned that someone could easily act maliciously and leave you to foot the bill! While I understand why you wouldn't want to in this case, would you be able to claim the door repair costs from your neighbour in a small claims court? I would be deeply unhappy that someone who didn't know me well enough to have my mobile number would be able to have my door broken down! I just think that if you had that kind of relationship with your neighbours they would have your number/key at the very least, why on earth should you have to foot the bill because the police have broken down your door for no reason?
    • antrobus
    • By antrobus 11th Jan 13, 7:37 PM
    • 16,749 Posts
    • 23,724 Thanks
    antrobus
    ...I had a letter back after a few weeks from the police legal team at New Scotland Yard - unfortunately they will not pay for the cost of repairing my door etc as they had justifiable reason to force entry into my premises, although they were apologetic about the matter....
    Originally posted by ElLast
    Yes, contrary to what other posters have stated, as a general rule the police have no liability to pay the cost of any damage caused to front doors should they reason to force entry to a property.

    Damage to property by police forcing entry
    www.parliament.uk/briefing-papers/SN05524.pdf
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