kingandy: (Frowny)
For those of you coming in late, during our tenancy with Sanderson James their incompetence and negligence led to our being uninsured during a break-in.

Now they have apparently informed United Utilities that we were still in residence at the property - and therefore liable to pay the water rates - for six months after we left.

I'll allow this may have been a miscommunication rather than a conscious attempt to pass an unwanted bill onto an undeserving patsy. They might have been asked "Who were the previous residents?" and duly answered in good faith. But any professional operation would have asked the purpose of the inquiry, and then the exact period in question, rather than just handing out contact details willy-nilly. We're now left in the position of having to prove we moved house 18 months ago. Luckily we still have the contracts, which are dated.

So, to reiterate, Sanderson James are apathetic, inept buffoons who are seemingly incapable of keeping track of something as basic as dates of occupation.
kingandy: (Default)
Back in October, when we went to pay depoit for the new (rental) flat, the estate agent, Sanderson James, offered us a choice. We could put down six weeks' rent as deposit, or put five weeks' down and use money from the the sixth week to pay for contents insurance. Fair enough, says we, it seems a reasonable amount of moneys and at least with the insurance being provided by the estate agent you know that it's definitely valid on the property in question. Saves us sorting it out ourselves.

In January we were burgled. Oh well, says we, at least we were insured. A claim was duly filed and (over the following months) proof of ownership of the majority of items provided.

Last month (July) a Loss Adjuster was sent to inspect the premises. Not, as we assumed, to verify ownership of said goods, but in fact to inspect the locks.

Today we received a letter from said Adjuster informing us that following his report, the insurance company had concluded that the lock fitted to the door did not meet the minimum standard specified in their policy, and as such the policy was not valid.

So the situation is this: Sanderson James sold us an insurance policy that was not valid on the property we were renting from them.

Pop quiz: What's our next step?

Our first thought is naturally legal action. I'm not 100% convinced it would work, though. Technically, as insurance brokers, they did let us read the policy before we signed it, and it might then be our responsibility to ensure that the estate agents kept the property up to scratch (even though they're the same people). But surely, there's a level of implication that the person selling you a policy on the flat you're renting from them is selling you a valid policy? Wouldn't it be their responsibility to make sure the flat matches the minimum security level before they try and sell it to you? Is that not, in fact, a scam? Or at the very least, criminal negligence. It's sale of an item not fit for use.

Ant is planning to consult his family solicitor but any additional insight would be greatly appreciated.

FWIW, they didn't actually give us a copy of the policy after we signed it. I'm pretty sure that at least is breaching some regulation or other.

Anyone have any experience with legal issues of this nature?

March 2012

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