> >

Property maintenance

Property maintenance

What you need to know about home renovation insurance


Home renovation insurance protects homeowners from the risks that are associated with improving a home. Home improvement is a duty that every owner must undertake from time to time. This responsibility is felt more by freeholders. Freeholders are expected by law to perform major home repairs such as the construction of roofs, strengthening of pillars and insulation of walls. These tasks carry their own risks. Homeowners usually focus their minds on improving their homes rather than the potential risks that can befall the house during improvement. A home is usually very vulnerable during improvement. Its foundations are weak, its roofs are leaky, and it is open to people who cannot be fully trusted. That purpose of home renovation insurance is to protect homeowners from financial losses that come with home reconstruction.

Why do you need home renovation insurance?

Buildings, especially houses, can easily catch fire during renovations. Houses are usually supplied with gas and electricity. These are the biggest fire hazards. Workers may ignore gas leak warning signs or encroach on electric fuses that are easily short-circuited. A pole of brick may also cut electrical wires and cause fires. Some tools that are used during home renovations are other potential causes of house fires. One of these is the welding machine. A welding machine carries highly inflammable gases and produces thousands of degrees of heat. The smallest carelessness in the use of a welding machine can cause dangerous fires. A standard fire insurance cover does not protect property from those fires that occur during renovations. These have to be insured separately if the owner wants to be in a peace of mind during the renovation of his home.

What do home renovation insurance cover?

Houses are in danger of destruction from natural causes during renovations. Roof repairs leave ceilings and tiles at the peril of wind. High winds can easily blow off a roof that is only partially covered. A partially covered rooftop offers resistance to the flow of wind. This resistance leads to a build of energy that eventually causes the roof to be blown off. Rains may also cause discoloration of ceilings and rusting of the home appliances that are made of iron. These are events that are never preplanned by homeowners. The owners usually focus on repairing a given structure without giving much regard to potential collateral damages of other structures. Insurance firms have come up with various covers for damages that are caused by natural disasters. Winds and rain are just examples of these disasters. Others are floods, earthquakes and landslips.

Homes that are being renovated are usually very open to thieves and vandals. Even the workmen themselves cannot be totally trusted. They may be tempted to steal a thing or two from the house. The last thing on a home owner’s mind is losing his properties when he is doing home renovations. The homeowner expects everything to be better after repairs, and not be accosted by expenditures that occur because of theft. There are insurance policies that will protect you from the financial losses caused by theft during a home renovation.

Some of the items in the housing disrepair protocol


A housing disrepair protocol is a systematic procedure that is followed in cases where a tenant believes that a landlord has neglected his housing repair responsibilities. Homes must be maintained in proper working condition. Tenants have the right to live in a comfortable environment. The law has clearly defined both tenants’ and landlords’ responsibilities towards property maintenance. Responsibilities of tenants are usually minor. It is the landlords who must account for major repairs in the house. Neglect of property maintenance forces tenants to live in dilapidated environments. These tenants have the right to sue their landlords.

Use of Housing disrepair protocol

The purpose of the housing disrepair protocol is to guide tenants and landlords in solving cases of house disrepair without engaging the law. Intervention of the courts can only be sought when all procedures in the protocol have been followed in vain. It is the tenant who usually initiates housing disrepair disputes. This is because they usually have lesser house repair obligation than landlords. Nevertheless, they cannot seek help of the court before following the procedures of the housing disrepair protocol to the latter.

The reason why the protocol is given first priority over the court is the long and expensive litigation procedures that are associated with court cases. A tenant who approaches the court for help in disputes of house disrepair may have to pay more for the litigation process than the cost of repairing the house. This is also true for landlords. It is more economical for the two to solve the disputed between themselves. Court cases may also take long because evidences must be collected and witnesses questioned. All these litigation process are inconvenient and should be a last option.

How to start Housing disrepair protocol

First in the dispute resolution procedure for cases of house disrepair is involvement of a mediator. Landlords and their tenants are encouraged to seek the help of a mediator before presenting their case to court. The protocol gives examples of mediators that landlords and tenants can engage in dispute resolution. Each of these mediators are suited for every type of tenancy that in the UK. Council tenants can seek mediation from their local authorities. The local authorities have procedures, rules and regulations for settling out disrepair disputes. However, disputes that are solved by the Local Authorities are limited to house repair costs not exceeding £250.

You can get information about how the Local Authority settles disputes from the Department of Communities and Local Government, Eland House and Bressenden Place. Housing Association tenants can present their complaints to the Housing Ombudsman Service.

Other claims within Housing disrepair protocol

There is much more to the housing disrepair protocol. Each stage of the protocol is meant to prevent the dispute from escalating beyond unmanageable level. It is also important to note that the nature of disrepair claims are never similar. The cost of disrepair is different from one claim to the other. These are treated differently. Disrepair may also involve personal injury claims. This may call for involvement of a General Practitioner or even a more specialised medic. Every situation is dealt with differently. Parties involved in disrepair claims must go keenly go through the housing disrepair protocol so that they know the procedures that they are expected to follow.