Building Insurance Question

For those Flat owning landlord who experienced insurance such as leaks etc. I have a question to ask which can be very helpful to know the answer to.

So basically, building management telling me internal flat leak is not covered. but then later on when i contacted the insurance which comes with my pack says i can claim it and I did through them, and the process is done with insurance paid to me. and then the building management comes back to me telling me i can’t do that and saying now their legal team will be in touch with me.

Could I ask if it is normal, or the building management is trying to work their KPI? i.e. is it normal that insurances doesn’t work on its own and requires building management approval? if so why would the insurance even accept it?

So basically, what happened is I was quoted 3000 to fix the damage and everything insurance approved and paid to my account. Then the building management coming back and bugging me. Will I be required to pay all back? or the full claim cycle is done and irreversible?

I am very confused and anything suggestion can help.


you have it on record that they said you are not covered?If so let them try to do you .They made a mistake and probably their “lost” commision on overseeing the job is bugging them You proved them wrong Stay with it . Well done


i am not sure if it is a well done but their legal team are on to me, probably will waste my time. can they claim it from me and if i do not pay can they take me to court?

did you get the work done?

Well, half done. basically, money paid in and i paid him half for the half of the job done and done poorly, so I paid half and said to him let’s pause it and let me think what to do next maybe he can help with something else instead as he wanted the other half paid.

Then what happened is the builder probably thinking I don’t want to hire him for the rest so grassed me up to the building management accusing me saying I misuse insurance fund.

Building management saying i can’t use the building insurance in the first place and they are getting legal team onto me.

so, what will be the result on this? frustrating

thatis a problem .if the job was done well ,you could say, well I achieved what you said could not be done and you would be in a strong position . Now I cannot work out the outcome

not sure if that has to do with the measure of success though. strong position for what? insurance or not it is still going to be the same person doing it. isn’t it?

Leaks in flats is almost always covered by the insurance, but often with a large excess that means its not worthwhile claiming. If the leak is as a result of negligence, then the insurer could try to reclaim the amount from the guilty party.

Management companies don’t like such claims because it bumps up the premium for everyone, but I don’t think they can legally prevent it.

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The building management have no right to interfere with your perfectly reasonable action. If the insurance said you could claim it and paid you for it you have nothing to worry. It means you were entitled. Do not be afraid to go to court. Judges are very clever people indeed and can smell bullying from miles.
As long you can prove the building management washed their hands over it.
I once was taken to court by a company over a non payment of an over inflated bill. The judge saw the greed of this company adding unrequested services to a bill and had a strong words for them.
He let me pay what I thought was right.


Congratulations on your success in court. I wish more tradesmen were made to answer for their greed.

I have one at the moment, wherein my agent wanted a plumber to fit a small 15ltr water heater expansion vessel for an outrageous sum and 2-hour labour charge. I told them it was not right, since the expansion vessel replacement is little more effort than screwing in a lightbulb, 10-15 mins work, and the item was selling on ebay for less than 20% of the cost he quoted. He submitted his bill for 2-hours labour, the agent objected, and he reduced it to 1-hour. I’ve since told her not to pay him until he produces a bona fide invoice for the expansion vessel, but I doubt she will take that action as she doesn’t want the hassle. At least she has agreed not to use him again on my properties. I’m just wondering how many of the other jobs he did were unnecessary and overpriced.

Unfortunately, I’m overseas and rely on my agent, who obviously has no experience of such work, and has no time to chase around checking everything. Thankfully they pass most jobs in front of me by email, and I get a chance to comment, but they still press me to get the job done asap to keep the tenant happy.

Another plumber, a trusted friend, was at the property to do gas safety inspections, and looked at another problem water heater, that the crooked plumber wanted to replace entirely for an outrageous cost and 3 hours labour, my friend discovered it only needed a new washer, and fixed it there and then. I’m not a plumber but have replaced these water heaters myself within an hour, quite simply he’s a crook.

I presume the remedial work required was all internal, and as such I do not believe the Bldg. Mngt. have any jurisdiction other than a control over structural alterations internally.

I agree with Franky3’s opinion of the situation.

Individual flats in one of our blocks have made several insurance claims for water leaks due to central heating pipes being buried in concrete without protection, a common thing in 70/80s flats. In the last few years the premiums have risen from £3.4k, £5k to £7k and this years £14900. A massive wow factor and even with challenges to the ground LL, because of the claims we are stuffed.

As a result the excess has been increased to £500 which doesn’t help those who havent claimed and may have pending issues but still have to share in the increased premiums.

Centrally controlling claims is essential and people who go it on their own do not help, hence agreed rules of claims must be agreed at say AGMs so everyone knows and votes to accept this. It may have been voted on before you purchased your flat.

The issue of poor workmanship isn’t for you to keep half the money from the workman to do extra work in lieu of the withheld monies, or for you to just keep the money. You must get the poor workmanship addressed, The management committee could legally come after you if this is not done as you have a responsibility of ownership and I wouldn’t be surprised if the lease had some clause to cover this. If however, it is addressed and in a professional and quality manner, they would find it hard to have a case against you, unless you had signed something accepting the process or it has been proven you had breached your lease.

I thik the issue here could be that the building will have an insurance policy which you will be contributing in the form of a monthly payment for upkeep of the building.
But you have took out a separate policy and claimed on it whilst there was a policy in place. If you didnt declare this to the insurance company you claimed with you may have breached their conditions which may put you in a difficult legal position.
Take legal advice from a solicitor before doing anything first, to protect yourself.

This IS confusing. If the leak was caused by ,say, a hole in the external fabric of the building then the land lord and his building management team are responsible. They would need to claim on the Building Insurance Policy (The landlord’s responsibility ) . If the leak was caused by something like an overflowing bath in a flat above you ,then the tenant above you should pay by claiming on their Contents Insurance Policy. Failing that , your contents insurers should honor the claim . Hope this helps .

Much appreciated for your thorough explanation that make very much sense.

Although on your last sentence, what “process” were you referring to and what breach in the lease you are referring to?

The poor workmanship was just a cosmetic one so it doesn’t affect the risk of the flat, does it still count?

I suspect the plumber hiked his prices anyway as it’s an insurance claim. Remember they do have travelling time, time to get materials and supplies and have to run their vehicles, maintain tools and licenses, when you consider how long they were on site. Same for any trade.

It hasn’t been stated by yourself whether the leak was as Susan13 has correctly outlined.

Clearly, if the leak is in the building fabric, e.g., wall, floor or ceiling, then it’s the buildings insurance covered by the Management Company. Also, you haven’t said whether the management company is a group of residents or a professional agent.

In many deeds / leases the managing agent / company/ committee has the right to enter the flat and inspect works, If they believe the works are not acceptable then they have the right to demand these are fixed.

Then we have the word “acceptable”, what is acceptable to one may not be to another. The deeds or lease could state that the works must be done in a ‘workmanship manner’, that doesn’t mean profession but it does mean not by a cowboy.

When you obtained your property and all AGMs or changes since, you should have been updated and attended any meetings where any impact of decisions made could affect you. I highly recommend you do in the future if you have not in the past. Also, if you believe decisions made are totally unreasonable and unacceptable you need to write to the Managing Agent (M.A). Whether you win your case or not it needs to be put on record.

If you haven’t received the ‘process of claiming’ from the M.A then they cannot threaten you. Likewise, if your claim is significant and above the excess, they have no right to refuse to process your claim. Normally a process of claiming ensures, as I have said, a central point of managing these and keeping down premiums.

You need to read your lease (several times), plus any common agreed rules and regulations and if updated. Many of the latter are to help run the site to the common good, but not always legally enforceable. If you feel you do not have any of these or have not been updated, this will aide your corner but you legally must be provided with copies.

Also, if you want a clean slate get the plumber back to finish the job to a good standard and pay them. Before you pay you must obtain a copy of their liability insurance in case things later go south. That way you cannot be accused of ‘harvesting’ a claim to your benefit.

All works must be to a good standard and to regulations.

Thanks for the great details! Could I ask what is this liability insurance? I thought they just get the work done and when I am happy so that’s it?

Also, when you say harvesting a claim do you mean getting more benefit than what the insurance covers for the amount they’ve given you? Even if they accuse me of those things what are the range of possibilities they can do? I’d assume it would be disputing returning the amount if they see the work to fix it worth less than the claim?

Also, if i get someone else to do the job that the last builder is not capable of and ended up cheaper then there will be a leftover, what do we do with those extra balance if it happens?


Happy to help but I’m not here to look at every possibility of the situ you have but here are some possibilities and situ’s.
All contractors should have PL insurance, if they don’t, don’t use them.
All MA will insist on this to cover any future eventuality that may occur as a result of the contractors work. In your case the plumber could have damaged something you don’t know about or something else could happen in the future affecting the flat or the building. Just say for example, he hit a gas pipe when repairing the water leak, the resulting gas leak some time later caused the building to be damaged, there could also be a risk of life. This is why PL insurance is important, as I doubt either the plumber has spare change to pay for the repairs and no doubt, nor do you!!
We do not allow any contractor to undertake work unless they have a minimum PL of £5M, especially on flat blocks where costs can be very high.
If you get the work finished properly and there’s some change, that you could argue for is the inconvenience.
Basically and finally, I would get the above done, then stop worrying as you would have completed the works in an acceptable manner and ignore the managing company.
If they continue write to you about this write to them stating they are harassing you and to desist as works have been carried out professionally and with the Insurers claim agreement.

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