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Landlord’s insurer pursues tenant for damages

A tenant is being pursued for damages to a rented property covered by her landlord’s insurance.

The Telegraph has reported on the test case which is likely to worry generation rent.

Scientist Galina Govina rented the £1m cottage in Wiltshire for £2,800 a month. In 2010 she went away over the Christmas period only for a pipe to burst and flood the property. She later received a bill for £128,000 for the damage from her landlord's insurance company NFU Mutual.


The case rests on whether Govina left the heating on to prevent pipes freezing while she was away, as specified by the rental agreement. She claims she did and blames the incident on a "mechanical failure" in the heating system.

However, NFU Mutual is claiming she turned the heating off thereby breaching the tenancy agreement, and is pursuing her for the money. It has already paid the landlord the cost of the claim.

Govina is refusing to pay, insisting the landlady's policy was there to protect her too from the financial consequences of accidental damage to the cottage.

Her barrister Andrew Butler warned that victory for NFU Mutual would create a dangerous precedent affecting the rights of vast numbers of tenants.

The outcome of the case will be announced at a later date.

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