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How changing a window or installing a new kitchen void your home insurance?

Steve Hodge

Steve Hodge
Oct 15, 2018

Homeowners are upgrading their current properties rather than moving on, but many of these renovations could void the properties home insurance.

Homeowners are becoming increasingly likely to renovate their properties rather than moving, says the Telegraph.

But if you choose to go this route, you might be at risk of invalidating your home insurance, breaching your leasehold agreement, or risking adding a significant amount to your mortgage debt.

Installing a new bathroom or kitchen is normally possible without the consent of the insurer and mortgage provider. But moving a wall or converting a loft could leave property owners unprotected if they needed to make a claim. In addition, insurers must be told about external work on the house, such as porches or conservatories.

A survey has found that almost half (47%) of owners undertaking work on their properties fail to check their policy before going ahead. Residential property transactions dropped by 2.6% in the year to August, according to HMRC. Many of the people staying in their houses will spend their money on upgrades rather than moving.

Some banks will not allow the building of a second kitchen in a house - as part of the property could then be rented out separately. Whilst extra bathrooms do not fall outside lenders’ rules, a large extension might do as it could host a commercial business.

Owners of leasehold properties encounter additional restrictions - they must also notify and agree to any changes with their freeholders in accordance with their lease.

Nick Morrey, from the mortgage broker John Charcol, spoke to The Telegraph, advising homeowners to always get written permission from their lender prior to installing any large-scale changes in their property.


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