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Aston Lawyer
Aston Lawyer, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10550
Experience:  Solicitor LLB (Hons) 23 years of experience in Conveyancing and Property Law
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Hi I am a Landlord and I have just a the property flood after

Customer Question

Hi I am a Landlord and I have just a the property flood after a burst pipe. The tenants have gone to stay with there aunty till a loss adjuster can come on Monday to assess situation. They are only able to stay with family for a few days. If the property is unhabital do I need to find them alternate accommodation and pay for this. They have also asked for me to pay for a cab to and from work each day as they normally can walk. You advice would be great. Regards Ron
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Aston Lawyer replied 3 years ago.
Hello and thanks for using Just Answer.

My name is Al and am happy to assist you with your enquiry.

Landlords are under a general obligation to supply property in tenant able condition for the tenant to inhabit – see Landlord & Tenant Act 1985 and the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) covered by the Housing Act 2004.

However, circumstances can arise due to say fire or floods/burst pipes where a property in otherwise good tenantable condition may become uninhabitable in whole or in part during the tenancy.

Ideally, every residential tenancy agreement should have a clause which says that rent, or fair proportion of it, is not payable if the property becomes uninhabitable, in whole or in part, unless the damage is caused by the actions of the tenant.

There may also be a clause in your Tenancy giving either party the right to terminate the tenancy at short notice if the property is likely to be uninhabitable for any length of time.

You therefore need to check the wording of the Tenancy Agreement.

You may have adequate insurance cover for this sort of situation. Most landlord policies will provide for loss of rent payment whilst a property is affected, or for a certain specified period of time, and some will pay for affected tenants to be re-housed.

You should check your policy on these points.

In the case of an obligation to provide alternative or temporary accommodation, this is something of a “grey area”. On the one hand there’s an assumption that the landlord has taken on the responsibility to house the tenant/s for the duration of their tenancy, as long as they fulfil the tenancy conditions. On the other hand landlords cannot be held responsible for an “Act of God”. Force Majeure is normally a legitimate reason for non-performance of a legal contract and again ideally the tenancy agreement should address this.

You may feel a moral obligation to re-house, but you are not a charity!

If you find you have adequate insurance cover which allows for loss of rent and/or alternative accommodation cover, then fine. Alternatively, you can try to find alternatives whilst still insisting on collecting the rent, or arrange for rent to be paid directly to the new landlord.

You certainly aren't responsible for paying their taxi fares!

Either way, you need to check your Tenancy Agreement, and consult a local Solicitor as soon as you can if you have any points that need clarifying.

I hope this assists and sets out the legal position.

Kind Regards
AL