Cost of terrorism insurance recoverable under service charge

Cost of terrorism insurance recoverable under service charge

explosion insuranceCan a landlord recover the cost of terrorism insurance as part of the service charge? In Qdime, the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) decided that, on the terms of the relevant leases, the cost of insuring against a terrorist incident was recoverable.

 Original news

Qdime v Bath Building (Swindon) Management Company [2014] UKUT 0261 (LC)

In Qdime, a freehold building contained 13 flats. The tenants of 11 of the flats challenged the inclusion of the cost of terrorism insurance in the service charge. The landlord argued that the cost was recoverable as:

  • the wording of the leases obliged it to procure terrorism insurance as part of its obligations to insure the building, or alternatively
  • it had in any event exercised its reasonable discretion in procuring terrorism insurance in accordance with the terms of the leases

What did the leases say?

The leases were in common form. The landlord covenanted:

'To keep the Building including the Demised Premises insured to its full reinstatement value against loss or damage by fire and the usual comprehensive risks in accordance with the CML [Council of Mortgage Lenders] recommendations in that respect from time to time and such other risks as the Landlord may in its reasonable discretion think fit to insure against....'

The tenants covenanted to pay the costs of such an insurance policy and by virtue of another lease provision, ultimately paid them as part of the serv

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About the author:
Joanna is a commercial property specialist. Prior to joining the LexisPSL Property team, she was a transactional lawyer. She qualified in 1995 at Shoosmiths and subsequently worked at Nabarro, Charles Russell, Bircham Dyson Bell and Pemberton Greenish. She has wide-ranging experience of all non-contentious property transactions, with a particular emphasis on landlord and tenant work.