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Calls for landlords to warn tenants about burst pipes

Date online: 07/01/2015

Faults in a property’s plumbing system, resulting in broken or burst pipes generate insurance pay outs of £2.5 million every day.  

A large proportion of this damage is caused by plummeting temperatures causing the pipes to fracture and according to LetRisks, much of this damage can be prevented by taking a few easy preventative measures.

According to a report from the ABI, at the height of the cold snap in 2010, insurers dealt with 3,500 claims for damage caused by burst pipes every day. During this period, the average cost of household damage caused by burst pipes averaged up to £7k, but in some cases costs were considerably more, reaching into tens of thousands of pounds.  

Michael Portman, Managing Director of LetRisks comments: “A burst pipes case from the TDS is an acute reminder of the damage that they can cause to a property. A dispute arose as a result of frozen pipes which subsequently burst, causing a ceiling to collapse and damaging the tenant’s belongings.  

The tenant had gone to visit friends over Christmas, only to return find significant water damage to the property and its contents. The tenant maintained that the heating had been on a timer, set at the same time and heat level as when he lived in the property. He had previously complained to the letting agent about the old, inefficient heating system and its high running costs. The adjudicator was satisfied that the tenant had left the property with the heating set on timer.  However, due to the outdated pipework, it was unclear if this would have been sufficient to prevent the pipes from freezing. Therefore it was concluded that the tenant and the landlord should share responsibility for the damage caused.

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