Bodged building work costs neighbours £1.5bn

11 March 2015

Some 3.7 million Brits have had their property damaged by neighbours carrying out renovation work in the past five years.

Buildings insurance claims data revealed the total cost of carrying out related repairs came to an eye-watering £1.5 billion, with an average payout of £533. Yet 8% of claims were settled at more than £1,000 for repair costs, according to the figures from Direct Line SELECT Premier Insurance.

Damage to fencing (43%), windows (25%) and garden features and ornaments (25%) made up the top three most common causes of complaints, followed by gates (24%) and roofs (22%).

When it came to arranging who was to pay for the damage, only 33% of the homeowners who had carried out the work accepted responsibility, while 30% blamed someone else.

Nearly one in six (17%) of people whose homes has been affected by the actions of others didn't bother to confront their neighbour about the damage.

The majority of neighbours (53%) paid at least half of the repair cost, while 14% paid more than 80%. However, a fifth (19%) of neighbours didn't contribute any money to the repair job at all.

Nick Brabham, head of SELECT Premier Insurance, said: "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.

"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."

Top 10 types of damage caused by bodged building work

1. Fencing
2. Windows
3. Garden features/ornaments
4. Gates
5. Roofs
6. Plumbing (incl. leaks/flooding/moisture damage)
7. Contents
8. Plants
9. Exterior walls
10. Driveway

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