The This Is Money website is carrying a story of a London rental property where the front door was left open by a letting agent for six hours following a routine inspection.
The story is in an insurance advice column, so no agents or tenants are named, although the site says the story is both true and accurate.
“Me and my partner rent a two bedroom flat in London. Every six months the estate agent does a property inspection to ensure there is no damage to the home. We were told no one needs to be at the property when the inspection is made as they have keys and will let themselves in and lock up. Therefore, we both went to work as normal” says the tenant in their letter to the website.
“When I came back, I found our flat door wide open. Fortunately, nothing was taken and it didn’t look like anyone had been in but it had been open for six hours. I told the agent who was very apologetic but I want to know what who would be liable if something had been taken or broken? I have home insurance but surely the agent would be at fault?”
The agent is described as being “very apologetic” but the property was in a shared block with access routinely given to repair and delivery teams working on other properties.
Two insurance companies are quoted in response to the incident.
A spokesman for Comparethemarket says: “It’s best to get in contact with your provider to check your terms and conditions, as some providers do have exclusions and require evidence of ‘force and violence’ to gain entry to a property for claims to be paid out. Claims often need to be reported to the police within a set number of hours too - typically between 24 to 48 hours.
“If a door is left open by the policyholder, this could be considered negligence and against the conditions of the policy – meaning the customer hasn’t taken reasonable steps to prevent loss or damage.”
Meanwhile a spokesperson for Lloyds Home Insurance adds: “Where theft from the home occurs due to negligence from a third party it is important to let the police know and call your insurer to discuss what has happened.“
You can see the story here.