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Insurance (England) | Responsibilities and Liabilities (England) | Tenant Obligations (England)

Excluding insurable risks from tenant liability

16 Nov 2016 | 1 comment

I see in the Guild AST that one of the conditions excludes accidental damage by fire from the tenants liability. A landlord wants us to remove this from the agreement. What is the rationale for this condition and the pitfalls of removing it and why does it not mention other common insured risks such as flood or simply refer to ‘insurable risks’?

Answer

1 Comment

  1. guildy

    The term is taken directly from the Office of Fair Trading (as they were called at the time) guidance on what are fair terms for what is now the Consumer Rights Act 2015.

    All terms must be “fair” to be enforceable and that term is shown in the guidance as being “fair” (and therefore enforceable). We always try and use actual terms from the guidance so that in court there is no question.

    I don’t think it would be a fair term to include the term “accidental” because by its very nature there must be no negligence or such.

    However, I have been considering this overnight and I can’t see a problem with changing the word “fire” for “insured risk”. The only problem with this is I think then the insurance would have to be actually supplied with the tenancy (as apposed to being requested and as per the OFT guidance) because how does the tenant know what risks are insured? If they don’t know what’s insured in advance, the term would be unenforceable.

    I have made a note to look at this again at the next update to our agreements.

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