We recently discussed how the nation’s children are causing a huge amount of damage in the UK’s homes, with children and water representing the two most common causes of accidental damage home insurance claims.
But homeowners don’t just have to worry about children; some people may end up claiming on their home emergency cover after their neighbours damage their home.
A new investigation by Direct Line Home Insurance has found that 26% of Brits have had their household damaged by neighbours. Of these, 34% had their shared fences or walls damaged, 27% had experienced accidental damaged caused by neighbours, neighbours’ children or their guests, and 25% had had their home damaged because their neighbour failed to keep their garden in a good condition.
Furthermore, 24% went through their own pest control problems after an infestation spread from their neighbours, while 19% experienced water damage from the house next door, perhaps caused by a plumbing breakdown.
Overall, this damage costs a mean average of £384 to repair, leading to a total nationwide repair bill of at least £5 billion, the study found. The mean average is also pushed up by a high number of high-value home repair claims – Direct Line Home Insurance identified the median average as just £73.
People in London and the South East are also disproportionately likely to deal with expensive home repairs, with the mean average in the capital reaching £434 and with this rising to £516 in the South East.
Requiring household repairs due to a neighbour’s negligence can be the cause of many residential disputes, as the investigation found that neighbours are not always particularly forthcoming about taking responsibility for the damage they cause.
While over half (57%) of neighbours who were blamed for damage admitted that they were at fault, a much smaller number (29%) actually paid for the necessary repairs. Therefore, it is somewhat unsurprising that over one-third (34%) of people whose homes were damaged by neighbours said that they fell out with the responsible party as a result.
Direct Line Home Insurance head Katie Lomas said property damage caused by neighbours is “not uncommon”. She added that, although “more often than not” this damage is unintentional or accidental, “significant” repair work and expenditure can be required to put things right.
Ms Lomas advised people to speak to their neighbours the moment they notice any damage that they believe the neighbour could be responsible for. “Prevention is always better than cure”, she pointed out, stating that speaking with responsible parties early could hopefully help people avoid expensive repair bills.
Call in the experts!
If you’ve ever had to stump up for costly household repairs as a result of your neighbour, then our home emergency cover could give you the peace of mind you need!
Plumbing and drainage cover will be bundled into your service contract, protecting you against one of the most common causes of neighbour disputes, and if you take out a higher level of cover, you’ll also be protected from pest infestations!