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Thursday 18th April 2024

My room flooded and the landlord won’t help

Mouthy Money Your Questions Answered panelist Sarah Smith answers a reader’s question about their rights after a flood in their flat and how insurance works in this scenario.   

Question: While I was away on holiday my room in my flat share flooded. The damage means I cannot live in the room until it is repaired, and the majority of its contents will need to be replaced. But my landlord won’t provide alternative accommodation, what should I do?

The landlord and letting agent say it’s not their responsibility to put me up somewhere while the repairs are taking place which is estimated to take between two and four months and the only accommodation I’ve been able to secure is double my normal rent. 

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Am I entitled to any compensation for the damage of my belongings, and extra costs taken on for temporary accommodation, not to mention the emotional turmoil?

Answer: This sounds like a really tricky scenario and unfortunately the landlord may not be obliged to provide alternative accommodation if it’s not their fault.

It’s always worth checking the terms of your tenancy agreement which might put an obligation on the landlord to provide alternative accommodation if you aren’t able to live in the property and it’s not your fault either. 

The good news is that if you have contents insurance there is usually a feature of cover that provides alternative accommodation or the cost of rent while the property is being repaired following an insured event like a flood or burst pipe. 

Contents insurance will also help you claim for your belongings which have unfortunately been damaged. It’s certainly worth talking to your insurer and finding out what is available. 

The other thing you could check is if your landlord has insurance. They may have cover included for loss of rent if the property becomes uninhabitable following loss or damage covered by the policy.  

Instead of paying loss of rent, policies may be able to pay the landlord ‘the extra cost of similar alternative accommodation for their tenant’.

If this is the case, it may be worth discussing this with your landlord.

Sarah Smith is an experienced insurance professional with over 25 years in the industry.

Sarah is an experienced insurance professional with over 25 years in the industry, and has been Head of Home, Pet and Travel Underwriting at LV= General Insurance for the last two years. Her career has covered a variety of roles across large and small insurers, brokers and start-ups, covering personal, commercial and travel lines of business. Sarah’s passion for insurance comes from knowing that she has the ability to protect people and their family.

Mouthy Money Your Question Answered compiled by Rebecca Goodman

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Photo by Holly Stratton on Unsplash

Sarah Smith

Sarah is an experienced insurance professional with over 25 years in the industry, and has been Head of Home, Pet and Travel Underwriting at LV= General Insurance for the last two years. Her career has covered a variety of roles across large and small insurers, brokers and start-ups, covering personal, commercial and travel lines of business. Sarah’s passion for insurance comes from knowing that she has the ability to protect people and their family.

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