Millions of home owners suffer damage to neighbour’s renovations, research shows

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Some 3.7 million home owners in the UK have suffered property damage due to neighbour renovations in the last five years with only a third accepting responsibility for damages, new research shows. The repair bill for damages across the country totalled more than £1.5 billion with just 33% of neighbours accepting responsibility and 30% blaming someone else, according to the research from Direct Line’s SELECT Premier Insurance. Some 17% did not directly confront neighbours about damage to their property, surprising given that the average cost to repair damages was £533 and for 8% more than £1,000 was required to repair the damage. According to those whose damaged property incurred a cost to repair, the majority of their neighbours, 53%, shared at least half of the cost of repairs and 14% paid over 80% of the costs. However, 19% of neighbours paid nothing towards damages caused by their home makeovers. ‘In the UK we take pride in our homes with many seeing extending and renovating their homes as a way to improve their living standards. As such it is not surprising that in the 12 months to September last year we saw more than 55,000 residential planning applications made in England with more than three quarters of them accepted,’ said Nick Brabham, head of SELECT Premier Insurance. ‘If you or your neighbours are thinking about starting a home makeover project it is worth assessing and discussing the risk of damage to adjacent properties with neighbours. It is also crucial to check whether your home insurance policy covers damage caused by neighbour renovations, otherwise you could be left with a hefty repair bill,’ he added. Damage to fencing was the most common ailment for victims of over exuberant home transformation projects, with 43% suffering damage. A quarter of people highlighted damage to windows and damage to garden features such as fountains and sheds, making these the next most common casualties of neighbour renovations. Some 24% suffered damage to gates, 22% damage to roofs, 22% damage to plumbing include leaks, flooding and moisture, 21% damage to contents, 20% damage to plants, 19% damage to exterior walls and 17% damage to a driveway. Home renovations have also caused other annoyances to neighbours with 26% enduring noise disturbances and 14% experiencing reduced parking. This was a major issue in already congested London where 26% went through reduced parking whilst their neighbours renovated their properties. Continue reading →

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