Dear all, I have a 2 bedroom unit in Beenleigh in QLD and recently, my bathroom has a water leakage (which on spilled into kitchen) and I have always kept a landlord insurance (Terri Scheer) on the property but my property manager said that Terri Scheer refused to pay for the cost of repairing the water leakage at bathroom. The water leakage has spilled onto the kitchen and I had to claim the body corp insurance to pay for repairing the damages at the kitchen (and I had to fork out $1.5K). I have been told that Terri Scheer Landlord policy does not cover the building issues. They cover tenant damages and loss of rent etc.
I have been told that “It is the owners responsibility to repair the leak (cause of problem). As the pipework is under the bathroom floor, they have to cut into the floor to get to the pipework. Everything in the bathroom/laundry has to be removed so that the floor can then be repaired and waterproofed. Because we have to dig into the floor the waterproofing is compromised and all needs to be redone. And then basically put the bathroom back to together. The kitchen damage is caused by the water leak and this is covered by insurance. Insurance only covers the damaged caused not the initial problem.”
My property manager has kindly quoted a fixed price of close to $20K to fix the bathroom problem and I am so angry that I had to fork out this costs when I have landlord insurance in place. Are there anybody who can help urgently with my situation. Lawyers are most welcome coz I want to see if I can take the insurance to court !
JonSteve McKnightKeymaster@stevemcknightJoin Date: 2001Post Count: 1,763
Thanks for your post and sorry to read about your situation.
I am confused about the insurance policy. Whose name is it in – yours or the bordy corporate (BC)?
I would expect the BC would ensure for public liability and for structural matters for common areas, but that each owner is responsible for their portion of the building (strata title), and public liability of the same.
As for what is and isn’t covered, you should read the relevant policy carefully and even seek legal advice in order to get an expert opinion. Given the dollars involved, (up to) a few thousand in legals seems to be well worth it.
Sometimes insurers will disclaim out of the gate and need some further ‘encouragement’ to reassess and pay out. Hence a good lawyer is where I would turn to for help.
Steve McKnight | PropertyInvesting.com Pty Ltd | CEO
Success comes from doing things differently
The landlord insurance is in my trust name (which owns the property) but my property manager says the landlord insurance company (Terri Scheer) says that even there is $60K building coverage under the landlord insurance, it ONLY covers “damages to the building caused by the tenant and given that the cause of the water leakage which happens at a pipe below the bathroom floor and Terri Scheer deems the cause as a structural issue which is just normal wear and tear and the cost of fixing the issue falls under owner’s responsibility”. However, the water leakage caused structural damage to the walls and the kitchen, my property agent is claiming the body corporate’s insurance to fix the damages caused to the structure of the building but the body corp’s insurance company (CAPITAL INSURANCE) won’t cover the costs to fix the cost of bathroom (which is estimated to be $20K).
I am so disgusted by the insurance companies (both Terri Scheer and CAPITAL INSURANCE) for disclaiming such a big amount. Am I supposed to dig up the floor and check all the pipes are running smoothly every year? If that is the case, every landlord in Australia will be running huge costs to maintain the property every year. Sorry for venting but I am just really disappointed about the situation.
Any good lawyer’s recommendation in QLD that is willing to look into this situation. Much appreciated. Cheers JohnBennyModerator@bennyJoin Date: 2002Post Count: 1,416
That sounds bloody awful. Thinking further from Steve’s and your words, I was wondering just where “strata” begins and ends. e.g. Is your strata the box that encompasses your unit? And does that go below floor level? See to me (a layman) I would have thought that the BC should be responsible for the Structure of the building. And would (should?) that include the structure underfloor, including rebar, concrete, any pipes, power runs, etc? What are the limits? Are the BC correct, or are they sticking their heads in the sand on this one?
I don’t know – but in your situation it may be worth googling things like “Lawyer specialising in construction” and/or “Lawyer specialising in Insurance claims”. Often a lawyer (solicitor) will allow your opening visit to be fee-free while they get to hear whether they can help or not. At the very least, they may have others they can refer you to, once they have heard your story.
Good luck with it,