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NSW Landlord Insurance Claim for Loss of Rent Declined?

Discussion in 'Insurance Law Forum' started by Geoff, 10 October 2016.

  1. Geoff

    Geoff Active Member

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    This issue is also discussed here

    Vero Landlord Insurance Claim Rejected - What Can I Do? | LawAnswers.com.au

    However, it is a couple of years old. The problem is almost identical.

    The owners corporation in this block of units, after a protracted period dealing with Vero and sending a builder bankrupt, finally got Vero to accept a defects liability claim.

    The inspections and works uncovered a lot of problems and the cost is now in the millions of dollars.

    I currently have a rental loss of about $25000 after the rental tribunal gave the tenant a rental credit and the tenant then left. The rental agent and my insurer's assessor have both provided correspondence saying the property is not habitable in its current condition.

    My landlord insurance has declined my loss of rent claim as they see no "occurrence" that triggers my policy. The builders, contracted by the owners corporation, will not answer any questions related to my claim for loss of rent.

    I do not have a direct contact with Vero as it is the owners corporation who have authourised the work. The owners corp deny any liability. I have submitted a claim to the owners corp insurer which was rejected, as they consider the unit habitable, that claim is now with the FOS.

    Additional -

    My tenant, who has now left received a determination from the rental tribunal and received a rental credit of about $5000 (she left as soon as that was exhausted. Immediate it was vacated the builder removed all windows and rear sliding door to bedroom.

    The scaffolding for the works to the multi story building is sitting on my courtyard, this was placed there without reference to me. Owners corp says they did not approve, builder says they have the right, Vero and contract co-ordinator will not reply to my questions regarding placement. I consider the whole unit to effectively be a work site.

    Major works still need to be done to the balcony, carpets to be replaced, doors and windows to be replaced, bathroom to be completely re-tiled and work will probably not be finished until November 2016 (work started when scaffold was erected in April 2015)

    My agent advises they cannot let the unit in its condition. The unit is 5 years old.

    I would appreciate any feedback from anyone in a similar situation or who may have experience in this type of matter.

    Thanks
     
  2. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like everyone is passing the buck and you're the one out-of-pocket. Going to cost you to sort out this mess.

    Complicated + decent of amount money = see lawyer.
     
  3. Geoff

    Geoff Active Member

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    Thanks

    Definitely an option, however, I am concerned that I may spend thousands more and get nowhere.

    Would the Administrative Tribunal in NSW hear something like this?
     
  4. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    No. Your complaint is not against a public body. Try NCAT. But not sure of the total size of your claim, you may have to go to the Local court.

    Sometimes though you do need to spend money to protect your interests. If you decide on a lawyer, court is better and you claim some of your costs back.

    DIY is cheaper, but you put your case at an increased risk. Not possible from here to evaluate how large that risk is.
     
  5. Geoff

    Geoff Active Member

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    Sorry I meant NCAT - I was taken there by the tenant - and the tenant won a 40% rental credit because of noise and disturbance. This cost me $3500 before the tenant left.

    The unit has now been vacant for almost a year - $20000 +

    I am currently going through FOS

    FOS has decided that the insurer made the right decision in declining the claim, I am about to advise that I do not accept their decision and want to proceed to the Ombudsman decision as no matter what that decision is it won't limit any action I might take later.

    Basically FOS has said that the policy was not triggered because there was no damage claim made against the policy that would have triggered a loss of rent claim. This even though they agreed the unit was not habitable, a work site and the loss was caused by the works.

    A bit of an aside.

    Insurance is actually provided by CGU, provided via SUU and under written by Whitbread. I just went through all of them to get a copy of the current certificate of currency. The certificate of currency says they will supply a copy of the "Insurers Standard Policy" which none of them knew about, Whitbread has had to refer the request upward to provide.

    No wonder it is difficult
     
  6. Geoff

    Geoff Active Member

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    Thanks Rod

    Can you help with how this puts a case at increased risk?
     
  7. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    Meant that a lawyer will make sure your case is properly prepared and less likely to have evidence thrown out as inadmissible and can properly counter arguments put forward by the other side.

    If you go down the DIY path you expose yourself to some of these risks. One advantage of NCAT is that it doesn't insist on strict rules of evidence which are even difficult for some experienced barristers.
     
  8. Geoff

    Geoff Active Member

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    Thanks

    Appreciated
     
  9. Beverley Greening

    Beverley Greening Active Member

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    Sorry you have this problem as it sounds horrendous. I agree with the above opinion to get a solicitor but make sure he/she is an expert in this field as it could make the difference.

    Good luck.
     
  10. Geoff

    Geoff Active Member

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    Thanks

    Finding an expert will be the problem :) I doubt anyone will point me in the direction of their opposition.
     

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