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Carole Hurst

Providing alternative accommodation after a fire

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My tenant set my house on fire. The police said I had to provide and pay for alternative accommodation. Because I have had this property for many years it had building insurance to cover any damage but did not provide alternative accommodation for the tenant. He volunteered to stay with a friend while repairs are being done. However I would like to know the legal position because I have a few other properties with just old buildings cover.when I have tried to look into it it seems to say your landlord may have insurance cover which doesn’t answer my query. Would the local authority accommodate someone homeless in this situation.

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Believe it or not the police have little knowledge of housing law and I would ask them to provide details of the law that states you have to provide and pay for alternative accommodation. Then watch them squirm.

First off the council have a legal obligation to house anyone who is classed as homeless by fire or flood. See Housing Act 1996 S189 1d  http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1996/52/section/189  & http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1996/52/section/188

The landlord only has to pay for alternative accommodation if the fault of the fire was the landlords fault  such as not repairing something which was reported and not fixed.  

There is no law  that states a landlord has a duty to re-house a tenant if the house is destroyed by fire/flood.

If you did have insurance which paid for temporally  accommodation the tenant would still have a legal obligation to pay rent for the property as a tenancy still exists.  

 

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What Grampa has said to you. 

My Direct Line landlords insurance does cover me for this type of rehousing situation. Worth having it in place I would say.

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It has nothing to do with the Police.

They often make statements that aren't correct and set up confrontational situations.

There are Local Authority Housing Officers for this sort of thing, should there be a need.

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5 hours ago, Melboy said:

What Grampa has said to you. 

My Direct Line landlords insurance does cover me for this type of rehousing situation. Worth having it in place I would say.

Like all forms of voluntary insurance it's a personal choice, some say it's worth it and some like me say it's not.

The lack of this kind of cover by flat owners is compounded by the fact that leasehold property service charges already provide building insurance cover in most cases.

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